The Faith of Joseph

St. Joseph and the Holy Child
William Hart McNichols
Growing up, I was always extremely jealous of my friends’ June and July birthdays—for these almost certainly guaranteed a pool party of sorts if nothing else—whereas the only promises my late December birthday ever had to offer were those of turned down invitations and reallocated Christmas gifts. If Saint Joseph were alive today, I imagine he might feel somewhat similarly about his feast day falling in the middle of Lent.

On today’s Feast of Saint Joseph, we celebrate the life of the Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who set the model for living faith in action when he accepted his wife’s explanation for being with child out of wedlock. Living in a world not unlike that of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, Joseph initially wanted out—it seemed at the time that a quiet divorce would be the easier of the two roads ahead. Today’s gospel reading (Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24A), however, reminds us of the many earnest ways the Lord makes himself visible in our lives during times of great difficulty:

"Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home."

Joseph’s experience demonstrates his willingness to put faith in God in times of peril, a lesson from which I myself could learn something. As the end of my first year teaching looms on the horizon, I find myself grappling with this “what next?” question on a daily basis. Where am I called to serve next? Who might I best serve in my immediate future? Why am I called to do this over that? In hoping to be able to better answer these questions, I find myself turning to memories of this time last year during my senior year of college, when I felt as helpless as Saint Joseph. I recall the overwhelming mountains of pressure I placed on my shoulders simply for the sake of meeting higher expectations, when the reality was that so long as I walked across that graduation stage, I would be making my parents proud.

This Lenten Season, I’ve resolved to live my life faith-forward, leaning into the darkness as opposed to away from it. Although these moments of insecurity attempt to corrupt my perspectives on the future, I allow them to show themselves in the light of Faith, in hopes that by bringing the darkness to the light, I might find myself better following the path of Saint Joseph.

Author: Mason Amelotte, Alumni Service Corps


Popular Posts