Saint Joseph the Worker

Saint Joseph is much more than an example for working people to follow and imitate.  He is the example of what it means to be a man.  In today’s society, there are many mixed views as to what a real man actually is.  Some think a man must be a macho type of individual.  Saint Joseph didn’t fit that view.  In Bethlehem, there wasn’t any room for them at the inn, but Joseph didn’t make a fuss and demand one for his pregnant wife.  Was that weakness or manliness?  Did that make him less or more of a man?  There are no words recorded in the pages of Sacred Scripture attributed to Saint Joseph.  Some think to be a man one must be boisterous and loud, always cracking jokes and making people laugh.  That would contrast sharply with the peaceful silence that probably characterised the home of Joseph and Mary in Nazareth.  When our interior life is tranquil, we can hear God speaking much more clearly.  How important it is for us to ponder, as Mary did, and quietly meditate, like Joseph, about our vocation, our duties and our lives in God’s presence.  When Our Lord is present in our hearts, we don’t need to talk, we need to listen.  I wonder if Our Lord himself learned to accept rejection, practice self-denial, and hold his tongue in disciplined silence from the example of his foster father.  As the protector and patron of our community, Saint Joseph is the model that we should imitate to ensure that God’s grace will continue to bless us as we seek to do his will.

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