Today, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, is a day that many Christians, especially Catholics, think about Saint Joseph. Although Joseph was the earthly father of Jesus, there is not much about him in the Bible. But Catholic men are taking a new look at Saint Joseph as a role model. Although we don’t know much about Joseph, we do know that he sacrificed for his family and when Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit, he did not rush to judgement and insist on punishment the way the law would have permitted. He accepted his responsibilities and he was ready to make swift changes and obey the orders he was given. Most men who read the story of Joseph wonder if they could have done as well. The letter of the law isn’t always the path that we should take. When angels talk, we should listen!
Just as we look at the law, we ought to know that following it does not always lead to model behavior. And at the same time, a lot of behavior is not ruled out by law. Behavior that is not illegal, does not mean that we can avoid sin when the law permits bad behavior.
It’s odd to look at our lives today and see how often many modern men do not model their own lives based on anyone like Joseph. They prefer to live selfish, undisciplined lives motivated by greed and lust. That may sound harsh, but statistics show how large numbers of men don’t want any part of being husbands. Many men take advantage of women even in criminal ways. A huge percentage of men are addicted to pornography. And on and on.
Joseph may have been quiet, but he did what a man should do and we can model ourselves after him.
Photo displays father image of author for our Pilgrimage book cover.