The figure of Saint Joseph is a modest one in the New Testament. Yet despite his silence and lack of detail with regards to his life and death he is a strong pillar from which one can draw many inspirations.
I, for one, am never at a loss of ideas when it comes to preach about Jesus’ adoptive father. Something singular about him strikes me as I turn my thoughts and prayers towards him. In fact, I wish to share a simple reflection on the humility which makes this man so extraordinary.
God entrusted Joseph of Nazareth with the upbringing of Jesus, his incarnate son. Joseph was not a rich man. He was just a humble carpenter. God never expected him to change his occupation. He did not need to improve his position, seek riches or fame to perform his special mission. All that was required was his humility and love. Joseph took care of the child Jesus and shielded him and Mary from so many perils. Some we know of, because they are included in the Scriptures, others may be unaccounted. In Joseph’s eyes the child was fragile but he knew that divinity was hidden underneath this fragility. It might have been difficult at times for him to understand how God chose him, a man who was certainly not known for being sturdy or for his bullyish nature. But his faith was strong and he never doubted God’s word.
It is the same with us. God calls us to his service, giving each one of us a special mission. Perhaps we might question why he chose us and not someone more suitable. But he does not require us to change. He wants us to perform our mission in spite of our limitations. We are not expected to raise our status. He wants us to love all those who are fragile with the conviction that hidden inside each one of them is the divinity of Christ. All that is required of us is to imitate Joseph and strive to be humble, to follow in his footsteps and never doubt God’s wisdom. Our greatness will shine through our simplicity, our strength shall be derived from the understanding that we are weak.