Loading
March 19, 2012
The Carpenter’s Heritage
By Jason Godin *

By Jason Godin *

The Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19. Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, foster father of Jesus, silent in word but not in action, Joseph produced a model legacy of masculine faith. The carpenter displayed prudence in judgment and action as well as presence for his spouse, his child, and his community.

Prudence

Joseph demonstrated one dimension of prudence – exercising sound judgment – in his marriage. The Gospel of St. Matthew recounts how Joseph acted when he learned Mary was pregnant before their marriage. He could’ve announced the fact publicly and exposed Mary to the severe punishment of the law. But he didn’t. Joseph proved “unwilling to expose her to shame” and instead prepared to leave Mary quietly (Mt 1:19). An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, assured him that the Holy Spirit had conceived the child in Mary’s womb, and how he must take Mary into his home. Joseph obeyed faithfully (Mt 1:20-25).

Joseph displayed another dimension of prudence – conducting oneself cautiously and carefully – when leading his family. Shortly after the Magi departed the Holy Family, an angel warned Joseph in a dream to flee with his young family to Egypt. King Herod planned to massacre of all infant boys in the region of Bethlehem. Joseph awoke, fled with Mary and Jesus promptly, and remained in Egypt until instructed once again by an angel to return to Nazareth (cf. Mt 2:13-23).

Presence

Joseph also practiced a life of obedient presence. The Gospel of St. Luke speaks of such presence in one sense as lawful attendance. Caesar Augustus decreed a universal census throughout the Roman Empire around the time of Jesus’ birth. Joseph obeyed the imperial edict by returning to his homeland, traveling with Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem in Judea (cf. Lk 2:1-7).

He also stood by his wife as a steady bulwark of spiritual strength. As devout Jews, both Joseph and Mary presented Jesus in the temple for consecration.

St. Luke describes how the parents were “amazed at what was said” about Jesus by Simeon, who called him a “light for revelation to the Gentiles” and “glory for your people Israel.” Joseph also witnessed Simeon bless Mary and warn her how “a sword will pierce” her immaculate heart (Lk 2:22-35).

St. Luke also chronicles how both parents later found their son in the temple. Joseph searched alongside Mary anxiously for three days among travelers journeying back from the yearly festival in Jerusalem. They found the boy Jesus among teachers in the temple. Jesus “astounded” all gathered – including Joseph and Mary – with “his understanding and his answers” (Lk 2:41-52).

Joseph was also a man of strength – the strong, silent type. Not a word of his is recorded in the Gospels. He was too busy listening to the voice and promptings of God to spend much time talking. Always ready to act, to guide and protect the Holy Family, he was a man of fearless faith and abundant grace.

Prudence and presence which come from strength of character and commitment. These are the carpenter’s heritage, and the stuff with which to build real men of faith today.

Jason Godin teaches United States history at Blinn College in Bryan, Texas. You can find him on Facebook here.

« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A Look at India from Rome
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
Jul
31

Liturgical Calendar

July 31, 2014

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Gospel
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 18: 1-6
Gospel:: Mt 13: 47-53

Saint of the Day

St. Ignatius of Loyola »

Saint
Date
07/28/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Homily
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: