March - St Joseph
The Winter rains are over, the time of singing birds has come, so let’s sing the praises of a man of few words. In fact the Gospel records none of his words just his dreams and actions. St Joseph.
Joe was a dreamer, always had been. He had his whole life planned and he liked how it looked. He dotted his I’s and crossed his T’s and everything was in perfect order for him. He dreamed of the day he would marry Mary. It was a bright summer’s day the first time Joe saw Mary, the girl of his dreams.
She was quietly beautiful, and what was more important to him, a woman of honour and integrity.
He thought of how their house would look and he imagined their sons and daughters, he had even picked out their names. He thought of how he would build them a house, they would get married, raise a whole bunch of children and be very very happy. There is a saying that ‘if you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans.’ I don’t know if God laughed but His plans were definitely different to Joe’s. Mary and Joseph were engaged to be married and Joseph started to build their house.
He wanted it to be perfect. Joseph was a carpenter and a very good one, it wasn’t the princely job that his lineage demanded but Joseph was content with his work. Joseph was of King David’s line and thus was rightfully a prince but foreign powers were now ruling over Israel and David’s kingdom and descendants were all but forgotten.
There was one thing that even the foreign king, King Herod, couldn’t forget and that was the old prophesy that from David’s line would come a king to rule over the whole world, not just Israel, this Kings kingdom would last forever.
While Joseph was busy building the new house something amazing happened. Mary was out in the garden when suddenly she was greeted by an angel of God. This angel told her she would have a son and she was to call Him Jesus. He would be God’s Son and that the Holy Spirit would come to her and this would be how she would receive the Son. Mary was greatly troubled by this but answered ‘I am God’s, I belong to Him, and he can do as He wants with me.’ Then angel of God left her and went back to heaven with her ‘yes’.
When Joseph saw she was pregnant and it wasn’t his baby, he was very upset. ‘How could you do this Mary?’ he said.
But all Mary would say is ‘it's not as you think’. Joseph thought he couldn’t marry Mary now, but one night as he was sleeping in his bed an angel appeared to him. ‘Don’t be frightened Joe’ the angel said
‘Mary’s baby is God's baby, he is God’s Son, call Him Jesus and get married, quick.’ When Joseph woke up he ran to Mary and said ‘the angel told me that we are to get married and I’ll look after you and the baby.’
So they got married and soon after went to Bethlehem where Mary had Jesus in a stable.
Joseph was very proud of his beautiful Son and taught Him all he knew.
Joseph showed Jesus how to make beautiful things with wood and told Him all about God and how good and merciful He is. Joseph read the scriptures with Jesus and taught Him to be a good Jew, following all the laws of God. Joseph loved Jesus dearly and Jesus loved Joseph just like a true father. This is not what Joseph had dreamed and planned for his life, God’s plan was much better.
Joseph grew older and finally drew his last breath surrounded by Mary and Jesus, and everything he loved. Truly the ways of God are better than ours.
St Joseph, foster father of our Lord Jesus, be with us and protect us as you protected Mary and Jesus. Help us to leave our own plans behind and follow God’s plan. Help us to be willing and receptive to God like you were.