March 20, 2017
by Maureen McCann Waldron
Creighton University's Retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 543

2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16
Psalms 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 and 29
Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22
Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a or Luke 2:41-51a

Praying Lent Home

Daily Lent Prayer

Jesus had a radically different view of God, one that drew so many to him.  He taught us that not only did our God care for the poor and downtrodden, but that we could talk directly to God.  Rather than a distant deity, Jesus showed us a God who was approachable, warm and loving – like a parent.  Jesus taught us to pray speaking from our hearts.
Today, is the feast of St. Joseph, husband of Mary.   We honor Joseph, the man who served as the father of Jesus, who taught his son not only scripture and carpentry, but who showed him about a father’s deep love, about service, kindness and care for the poor.  It was Joseph whose fatherly love shaped Jesus’ image of what a father means.
We can imagine what Joseph was like by the way Jesus offers us an image of God as a loving, forgiving father.  Joseph’s patient, caring style of teaching shaped the image Jesus had of Father, and when he wanted us to have an image of a warm loving God, he offered us an image of Father.

I like to picture that St. Joseph was a husband, father, member of a tight-knit community and a carpenter. He was probably also a good story-teller.  In the hours he spent in his shop, Jesus would have heard hundreds of stories of scripture, family, ancestors and the people who stopped by the shop. 

Jesus would have seen the respect Joseph had for people and the fair way he treated each one of them.  I imagine that Jesus recognized the kindness in Joseph who gave away a table or chair for the woman who was a widow or the poor man who needed the dignity of a piece of furniture of his own.

On this feast of St. Joseph honoring his role as a husband, we also remember him as a father to Jesus.  Today we can take that image of loving parent and use it our relationship to God.  Special words are not necessary to speak.  We can talk to God simply from our hearts and share what we are burdened with and what we long for in our lives.  And then we can listen.

As I reflect on Joseph today, I do it as the wife of a good and loving husband.  As in any marriage, I have learned to love with greater devotion and selfless love.  It helps me to think of the marriage of Joseph and Mary – challenged from the beginning.  I can only imagine that they grew in devotion and affection toward each other.  Today I can turn to Joseph and ask him to intercede for my husband – so good, so hard working, so stretched and yet devoted to me.  It is also helpful for me to pray for all husbands, in cultures where the male and husband identity can be so distorted.  May there be grace and blessings on all fathers and husbands today in ways that help them, through the example and inspiration of Joseph.

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