Righteous Joseph

Consecration to St. Joseph III: St. Joseph's Staff! - ATX Catholic

The Bible does not provide us with much information about the foster father of Jesus, Joseph. the gospels of Mathew and Luke though do speak about the genealogy of Joseph. He was from the lineage of David is what we understand. Let us now observe two nature characteristics of Joseph that sets him apart.

1.The ideal husband: Mary was taken to the temple and dedicated to the Lord by the god fearing couple Joachim and Anne at the age of three. According to the customs in those times she was betrothed at the age of twelve by the priest in the temple. Different chronicles cite that many suitable youth were called to the temple at that time. Each young man had to take a staff in his hand. The priest then took these staffs from the young men and went inside to pray to the Lord. He then returned the staff to the respective men. It was a miracle that lily flowers bloomed on top of Joseph’s staff. Seeing this miracle as a sign from God, the priest chose Joseph as husband for Mary.

The marriage between Mary and Joseph was decided. Before their marriage was solemnized Mary was filled with Holy Spirit and was with Jesus. Hearing this news, Joseph was highly perturbed and sad and pain. He was in confusion about the turn of events. It is obvious that as a couple betrothed he must have had dreams about his married life. He must have made several plans too. The unexpected turn of events brought Joseph into a fix as to abandon Mary or to accept her. If he rejects publicly then according to law of Moses she would be stoned to death at her father’s house.

Good and righteous Joseph decided to take the blame upon himself. The Bible says that Joseph decides to abandon quietly. Mathew 1:19, 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. We can only guess that he must have thought of leaving the place discreetly to protect Mary’s honor. In the absence of Joseph, Mary would be seen as a victim and treated with sympathy and tenderness by the people. Her parents would take care of her in their home, this must have been the thought in Joseph’s mind. What would an ordinary young man do in such a situation, just think??And in current scenario what would have happened have you paused to think??? Would a young man today accept a pregnancy that is not his??

Joseph receives a vision from the Heavenly Father telling him that she will conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and he need not be afraid. Mathew 1:20, 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. Priest Zechariah had asked for a sign from the angel of God. Mary being a virgin puts forward her doubt as to how could she conceive. Joseph was not aware of the Holy Spirit. It is through Jesus that the world knows the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit-the Trinity. Joseph did not express any doubt and accepted the vision by the angel and did what he was told. He accepted Mary as his wife. But being a righteous man Mathew 1:25, 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. He was the ideal husband and the Bible calls him a righteous man.

2. The one who followed the law of the Lord: Joseph followed the law of the Lord with full dedication and submission. The Savior was born in Bethlehem. After the three wise men and shepherds had visited Baby Jesus. Joseph had another vision from the Lord, Mathew 2:13-14, 13 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.”14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,.. That night itself Joseph took Mary and Baby Jesus to Egypt. Then the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph twice again when he was in Egypt and then again when he was in Israel. Following the orders without any doubt he left for Galilee in Nazareth, with Mary and Jesus. Mathew 2:19-23.

The Bible does not tell us much about father Joseph. But what we can gather from different chronicles about him is that he was a righteous man, ideal man, one who was faithful to the Law. We can believe that it was these qualities that set him apart from the men of his time and he was ordained the task of looking after and nurturing our savior Lord Jesus Christ. It is obvious that the one who raises the Son of God would have exceptional qualities himself.

Dear children of God, let us ask ourselves that if God were to look upon us what qualities would He find in us. the Bible tells us that Heavenly Father selects several people for His plans. Let us ask ourselves, are we worthy and capable enough to carry out His plans??? Jeremiah 29:11,11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. When a child is born, be it a boy or girl, the Lord has plans for him/her. But as humans we have become selfish and have become intertwined in the snares of material possession and make our children also run only towards fulfilling these goals. Many a times the result of the run is big failure. Dear children of God let us submit our desires before the Lord and pray to Him that may His will be done and not ours. No one is capable of saying yes to what God says No and no to what God says Yes. The decisions we take out of the stubborn human nature does not become successful. Hence pause, think if you follow like Joseph or go astray???

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