FAITH, TRUST AND OBEDIENCE: THE EXAMPLE OF ST JOSEPH, SPOUSE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
????2 Sam 7:4-5, 12-14, 16; Ps 88:2-5, 27-29 (R.v.37); RLuke 5:1-11
There is indeed very little said of St. Joseph, the Spouse of Mary by the Scriptures? In none of the Gospels was he talked of beyond the third chapter except where it could be inferred when Jesus was called the Carpenter’s son in Luke 8:19. But, we must observe that in those places that he was explicitly mentioned, his roles bring out clearly what God wants us to learn from his life, namely, Faith in God.
In the last part of the genealogy account in Matthew (Matt 1: 16-24), Joseph is introduced into the direct line of the history of salvation; it also significantly gives Jesus the legal claim to the title of the Son of David. For Jesus to be accepted as the promised Christ, he has to be of the dynasty of David. Recall the crowds question on his origin in John 7:41-42: Would Christ come from Galilee? Does the Scripture not say that the Christ must be descended from David?
In 2 Sam 7: 4-16, we see an account of that promise which God made to David that his kingdom would be established forever and it is his offspring who would occupy the seat of that kingdom. That came to pass as God wanted it because Joseph obeyed the instruction of the angel to go ahead and take Mary as his wife even though she was found to be pregnant before they came to live together (see Matt 1:24).
The Mosaic Law forbids him to do that (cf. Num 5:11-31; Deut 22:20, 21). In fact, he had already made up his mind to divorce her. Yet, when the angel spoke to him, he obeyed, though he might not have gotten full understanding. That is a point of connection between Matt 1:16-24 and Rom 4:13-22.
In Rom 4:13-22, the promise made to Abraham and his descendants was said to have come through the uprightness of faith. Abraham was reported to have believed and hoped even when there seems to be no hope. Like Abraham, Joseph was presented with difficult options from the angel of the Lord, he obeyed and so was able to carry out the divine plan for him.
Nonetheless, Joseph could not have done this purely on human strength. Faith like his comes only as a gift of God. Hence, we can see in his life, a miraculous overpowering grace of God in every way.
God equally gives us grace to enable us live well. Most times, when we are faced with difficult situations in life and confronted by difficult decisions to be taken, we put our trusts in persons or things that do not really matter, believing that we can do it all by ourselves. Yet, the only thing that is required of us is to believe. It is only faith that can guarantee the blessings that we hope for (Heb 11:1).
As we thank the Lord for the example of St. Joseph, we pray that he may teach us to respond with the same obedience and faithfulness. May this faith and obedience inspire others to also come into communion with God, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Happy a faithful and blessed working week ahead. Peace be with you.