St. Joseph is a model of generosity and truth. This is unquestionable in the Gospel of Matthew, which tells us about Jesus’ birth and childhood. St. Joseph’s instinct is to shield Mary from shame and harm at all times. He trusts in God constantly as Mary, the mother of God, becomes unexpectedly pregnant with Christ and when the Holy Family flees into Egypt. The Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 20th is the perfect time to contemplate the life of St. Joseph and ask his intercession to help us to be more generous and trusting.
“Joseph, her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.”
St. Joseph must have been devastated when Our Lady – the most wonderful woman he had ever met, the love of his life – told him she was pregnant. Even at that moment, St. Joseph’s generosity guided his actions. His instinct was to save Mary and her child from shame or harm. He did this, in the face of neighborhood gossip and scorn, without knowing that Mary’s child was the Son of God.
When our reputation is on the line, do we still act with generosity and strive to do the right thing, like St. Joseph did? Do we trust that doing the right thing will have unimaginably good effects?
“Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.’”
When an angel visits St. Joseph in a dream to explain the events of the Incarnation to him, we see St. Joseph’s trust and, again, his generosity. St. Joseph does not question the angel’s message. Perhaps Our Lady had already explained the Annunciation to St. Joseph, and he had brought it to prayer – here was his answer! St. Joseph flings open the doors to his home and welcomes Mary and Jesus into his life. A model father, he gives everything he has to the Holy Family.
Ask St. Joseph to help you trust in the messages that God sends to you. Whether it’s an answer to your prayers or an invitation to vocation, St. Joseph will guide us with gentleness to be generous in response to God’s presence in our lives.
“An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’”
Without question, St. Joseph takes the Holy Family to Egypt, leaving everything behind: his neighbors, his home, and his business. He trusts that God will take care of the three of them, and he is prepared to work strenuously to set up a new life in Egypt for his family.
St. Joseph can help us to put our families first. In the face of new challenges or trouble, look to St. Joseph for an example of trusting that God will help you take care of your family.
Today, on his feast day, ask for St. Joseph’s help to be more generous and to trust in God!