‘A just man’

The often overlooked saint of quiet humility and obedient faith, St. Joseph, the Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is first described in the scriptures as a “just man.” He loses no time in choosing to do what is right, with a decisiveness that emanates from an unfailing trust in the Lord. This was shown in his prudent decision, at first to break off his betrothal with Mary, but upon the intervention of the angel who reveals God’s will, he promptly decides to take Mary home as his wife. Joseph sturdily shows us how to act in faith, i.e. to know and to follow God’s will — to obey.

The Anawim Way, March 2017 publication comments on the feast of St. Joseph as moving us “not only to believe what Joseph believes, but also to love those whom he loves–Jesus and Mary. Joseph teaches us that there is no contradiction between loving Jesus and loving Mary. As a devoted and faithful husband and father, he put his life at the service of them both, without concern for his personal benefit. His whole life shows us that the very best we can do for our families and loved ones is to dedicate ourselves to the will of God. The more deeply we live by faith, the more fully we can give ourselves in love.”

In the Jewish tradition, the joyful celebration of marriage lasted for one whole week. This tradition is reflected in the one-week period which connects the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Solemnity of the Annunciation. According to liturgical notes, these two solemnities can be regarded together as “companion feasts” representing the union of two holy spouses, Joseph and Mary. The Savior is to be born into a family, as the child of a married couple. The Holy Family, like every family, is founded on marriage. Joseph and Mary go counter those modern trends that call mere sexual relationship a marriage, obliterating the ‘forever’ dimension and rightful conjugal and parental obligations. May Mary and the just man Joseph inspire us to persevere in living out faithfully our vowed covenant with God and the family/community, and to become committed signs of hope and joy to restore Jesus’ love and justice–the Kingdom values–to heal the world’s wounded brokenness.

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