Nothing would ever be the same again. When Joseph woke from his dream, he did what the angel said and brought the pregnant Mary into his home. When faced with all kinds of overwhelming, unanswerable questions about this situation in which he found himself, questions about Mary’s condition, his reputation, and the response of the community, Joseph came down on the side of faith. He trusted, even when he probably didn’t want to trust, or feel like trusting, but he did. Because he did, God used Joseph to be part of the biggest story ever lived. He and Mary became the couple to help ‘do right’ what another couple, Adam and Eve, had ‘done wrong.’ Yes, when Joseph woke from that dream, nothing would ever be the same again.
There’s a lot we don’t know about Joseph—where and when he was born, how he spent his days, what he said, when and how he died. The last we hear of him is when he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem with Mary and Jesus, when Jesus was 12-years old. A man of few words, Joseph did what he was supposed to do because he was a righteous, compassionate, and obedient man.
Throughout his life, he figuratively and literally ‘walked by faith’. After the angel appeared, he soon had to walk to Bethlehem with Mary to register in the census. After Jesus’ birth, he was told in another dream to flee to Egypt with Mary and the baby. These were difficult and arduous journeys over rough terrain, but he had faith, so he walked. Finally, he took his little family back to Nazareth to settle down. The roads were dark and windy, but he kept on walking.
Today we reflect on Joseph’s faith and take example from him. We have a desire to believe and bring our faith to the ordinary, everyday tasks we’re asked to do. When our faith gets challenged and we’re caught off guard and deeply distressed, we find ourselves asking that disturbing question: “How can this be?” It’s the same question Joseph and Mary both individually asked and wrestled with. When we find ourselves asking that same, “How can this be?” question, it’s then that we, like Joseph, must walk by faith.
St. Joseph, as you protected and guided your family, protect and guide us as a church and nation. In our doubts as we walk our journeys in life, teach us to believe and to act like you did…with love and faith, openness and humility.