In this final week before Christmas, our waiting is almost over – the Lord will shortly be placed in the manger as the Messiah, the King of Peace, the Holy One of God. Beside that manger kneels His Mother and St Joseph.
This figure of St Joseph is an interesting one. We know so little about him – but we do know that of all men, he was the one chosen to be the foster father of the Lord and the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The readings at Mass a couple of days ago, the fourth Sunday of Advent, were filled with the sense of joyful expectation; but for St Joseph, the man of honour, joy was not his immediate response to events. His first response was to quietly divorce Mary before their married life had even begun, but in such a way that Her dignity was preserved as far as possible. Such is the calibre of this man. It was only with the intervention of God through the vision of the Angel that St Jospeh realised that the Child Mary was carrying was truly the Son of God – and for St Joseph this changed everything. His response was immediate and without hesitation. Now, he truly trusted in the Lord and in the fulfilment of the ancient promise of the coming of the Messiah.
Often in life, we find ourselves in the situation of St Joseph – having to make difficult choices and decisions, sometimes affecting only ourselves, sometimes affecting others around us. St Joseph provides a very good role model for us – that of trust in the Lord, Who always keeps His word.
The beating heart of the Divine Mercy message is one of trust in the Lord – that trust opens the way for the Lord to find a real welcome in our little hearts, and it allows His grace to act upon us and then to spread out like a radiating fire toward others.
In His earthly life, the Lord looked to St Joseph as a protector and role model, and learned much from him. Perhaps in these final days before Christmas, we, too, might take a moment to reflect upon this greatest of Saints and to learn something from him.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.