Our Protector

1 May

“Saint Joseph was a just man, a tireless worker, the upright guardian of those entrusted to his care. May he always guard, protect and enlighten families.”  ~ Saint Pope John Paul II

Today we celebrate the memorial of a guy who always seems to get short shrift: St. Joseph the Worker.  St. Joseph, indeed, was a just man.  He is spoken of that way in the New Testament.  There are very few times in the scriptures — Old or New Testaments — that anyone is called “just”.  Joseph is one of the few.

He was confronted with a choice that he never wanted to make: take Mary as his bride or leave her.  He had legal recourse to the way he would leave her as well.  He could let her go quietly or he could have her stoned to death for being pregnant with a child that was not his.  Joseph was a just man and he wanted the best for this young woman whom he loved.  However, he did not want to marry her because the child was not his.

Joseph had decided to divorce Mary quietly so as not to force her to incur the penalty of death.  He had made the decision and was ready to act upon it when, one night, he had a dream.  In the dream, an angel told him that Mary had not lied to him, that she was carrying the Son of God.  The angel told Joseph that God wanted him to take Mary and protect both her and the Child.

Joseph, the just man, did exactly what the angel had asked for he, too, had prayed for the deliverance of his people and if God asked him for this special favor, he would embrace it.  We might not always understand why we appear to be asked to do things that we feel are way above our ability.  We might feel that God is calling us to something and we might become reluctant.

Rest in the knowledge that God never asks more than He knows we are capable of doing or becoming and say yes as Joseph and Mary did.  Joseph, foster-father of Jesus, pray for us and protect us as you protected Jesus and Mary.

FAITH ACTION:  Ask St. Joseph to watch over and protect you and all of your loved ones.