Monday, March 19, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 23

BEADS OF JOY 3-19-12 “Joseph - Jesus' Foster Father”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 23
My Friends,

We know Joseph was a carpenter, we know he was good and upright man; we know he was Mary's husband, and Jesus' foster father. What other possible things could we learn by the role Joseph played in Jesus' life; and the example he has set before all us as a good husband and an obedient man of God. Yes, Joseph is a descendant of David; he has a most impressive genealogical trace back to David the King. I'm not going to list the entire genealogy that can be found in Matthew's first chapter, but the end highlight states, "and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ." Matthew 1:16. Joseph always listened to whatever direction God sent Him, without questioning what he was told. Jesus and Mary's safety were Joseph's first greatest concern and whenever the angel of the Lord warned him he didn't hesitate to listen. "When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife." Matthew 1:24.

Joseph lived a life, true to the obedience of God. Today we celebrate the one man who not only was directed and guided by God himself to protect and take care of God's chosen; but who also stood strong closest to them without ever being concerned about himself. His own pride and even respect held no concern to himself; first and foremost he only protected those two blessed chosen ones of God. Let's take a look at scripture and see how loyal Joseph most definitely was. "When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.”Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." Matthew 2:13. Joseph lived a life that was so connected to God that we can learn so much from his example. He and our Dear Beautiful Blessed Mother were two of God's most trusted and obedient children. Jesus was so perfectly placed in the hearts and lives of two of God's absolutely wonderfully loving people.

The example they have given us as parents is unmatched. For their parental ways were so blessed because of their obedience to Almighty God. I can see how we can learn so much from them. Today let's look at Joseph's role in this most blessed Holy Family. I know we only learn and read about Joseph briefly in scripture, but I think there was a reason for that. God placed Joseph in Jesus' path to keep Him safe during His most vulnerable defenseless years of His life. I know both moms and dads read these blogs; but today's celebration is about a Godly man, a loving foster dad, and a most devout husband. I feel both moms and dads can gain much comfort and wisdom from all this. A good dad and a devout husband who has devoted his life and love to be obedient to God; is someone every man should desire to be, and every woman should desire to marry. God's holy and most blessed family show us how simplicity and love are valued tremendously in the success of a God-loving family.

As guardian of the holy family, we can see him as the protector of the church. His bold, selfless life encourages me personally as I hope it does for you. Nothing about Joseph was indeed about Joseph; it was all about Jesus and Mary. What an exciting, thrilling, overflowing joyful way to live one’s life. We need to do the same, centering our thoughts, first and foremost on Him. Jesus' love and concern need to our first focus, followed by loving and adoring His most precious mother. Here is a quote that truly sums it all up for us about Joseph, "He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trust worthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph's wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying, "Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." this came from a sermon by Saint Bernardine of Siena.

Today's Challenge: Let us look at Joseph in a new light. His priorities should be ours. As our Blessed Mother is such an example of saying Yes to God and being obedient to Him, so Joseph does the same. Today let us ponder thoughts and prayers of love for dads we know and love in our life. Send them a card, a simple note saying you love them, take them out for lunch or coffee. You will feel wonderful in doing so and so will they.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS