Today the Church honours the man whom God chose to entrust Our Lord and Our Blessed Lady. It is to Saint Joseph’s care that we owe so much because we see the faith of Saint Joseph, the faith which Saint Paul tells us is similar to that of the patriarch Abraham: because of his faith, God credited it to him as righteousness. He believed and he hoped. Saint Joseph had the hope of the people of Israel; he had the hope that God was going to fulfil all the promises that He had made to his chosen people. He didn’t see how it could possibly happen; after all, we heard in the first reading that the throne of David and his house would stand firm forever, and yet we know that by the time Saint Joseph was born there had not been a king on the throne of Israel for several hundred years, and that the house of David was in a shambles, and there was little or nothing left of it. And so, it seems that God didn’t fulfil His promise, at least on the natural level. But God’s promises are fulfilled in ways that we would never imagine, and Saint Joseph continued to believe.
Saint Joseph’s faith was so strong and his love for God was so profound that he is called a just man or a righteous man, a man who does the Will of God in all things. Saint Joseph was just like us; he was a sinner. He was born with the stain of Original Sin. He had to struggle with all the things of the flesh and of the world and of the devil, and he overcame them all so that he would be able to be the guardian of Jesus and Mary. The holiness of Saint Joseph had to have been immense for him to be able to do what he was called to do, to be able, first of all, to accept what the angel told him; to be able to accept as his wife, a woman whose child was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, something that he certainly would not have understood, but something that he accepted; and for him to say “yes” and be obedient to God in all things.
Even though he saw himself as being completely unworthy to be part of this mystery, he was the second person on the planet to whom the mystery was revealed; Our Lady, of course, being the first. So, between the two of them, God had shown them the salvation of humanity.
So, what about us? When we hear the promises of Christ, sometimes we don’t understand them, they don’t seem to make sense, and they’re not fulfilled the way that we think they ought to be; but that doesn’t matter. God has made the promises and He is faithful. So, we need to put into practice the virtues which so characterized Saint Joseph’s life: faith, hope, and charity. He believed in everything that God promised. And his love for God, for Our Blessed Lady, and for Our Lord was second only to Our Lady’s love for God and for Our Lord Himself.
Saint Joseph is the righteous and holy man to whom each one of us owes a great debt of gratitude for his love, for his fidelity, and for his example to each one of us; because what he has done, we also are able to do. We need to pray to him and trust him. He wants us to have faith and hope as well, and the only way that faith and hope grows is to have them tested. So, it’s not for nothing that Saint Joseph is the Patron of our community. We pray to him and we ask his help so that our faith will be credited to us as righteousness, that we will overcome sin in our lives, that we will be humble, that we will be holy, that we will be obedient, and that we will love Jesus and Mary as Saint Joseph did.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.