Daily Reflection – 3/19/2020
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ. Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. ( Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24)
Throughout the traditional and Orthodox churches, today’s Gospel is read to honor Joseph, husband of Mary and “foster father” to Jesus Christ. How fitting that is. Because in the persona of Joseph, there are qualities upon qualities from which we can learn and even emulate.
The first virtue of faith in God is the one most noted by commentators. We know that quality well. Joseph accepted the voice of God spoken through an angel. But he learned that faith enables him to face uncertainty with strength, conviction and certitude. For him, it eliminated fear and replaced it with the joy of knowing he was following God’s will. For him and for us, faith helps us survive and faith helps us move on.
We need to look at Joseph as a husband as well. He was the perfect spouse. He embodied so many admirable qualities. He was hardworking, compassionate, understanding, patient, kind, and loving. Even more important, he also understood that in a Christian marriage, there are three – husband, wife and God.
Acknowledging God in his marriage also meant that he understood humility. Humbleness before God but also the humility that comes when one puts aside ones needs for what is best for a spouse or the family itself. Selflessness can only grow where there is true humbleness.
Finally, there is Joseph as father. He taught the young Jesus not only his trade but he modeled the very traits that were and are Jesus Christ, the Triune God. He modeled empathy, kindness, understanding, trust and faith.
The hardest lesson for all of us to learn and to live is that Joseph put his needs aside and accepted unequivocally God’s word and God’s guidance in His life. He did not anticipate that the role he accepted would be without anguish but he knew that the path on which he entered would be pleasing to God and guide him to eternal life.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, enable me to walk by faith each and every day. Allow my mind to rise above my human frailty and to see Your divine plan in all things. Help me to imitate the faith of Joseph as I live my daily life.”
It seems that throughout the Bible God is always to trying to tell us this—“Do not be afraid, Abraham, when I ask you to leave your homeland and to travel to a new place that will be your own. Do not be afraid, Moses, for I will be with you when you, a slave, speak to Pharaoh, the king of the Egyptians. Do not be afraid of any evil, David, for the Lord will be your shepherd no matter where you are. Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace with God” (Luke 1:28, paraphrase). Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid to act. Joseph, do not be afraid.