Saint Joseph is recognized by numerous titles: the Worker, the Carpenter, Patron of the Universal Church (in Catholicism) and Descendant of King David. Maybe he need to also be named Saint Joseph the Listener, the man who believed an angel messenger when told he would be earthly father to the Son of God. When warned of impending violence against the Holy Household, Joseph instantly obeyed directions and fled to Egypt. And there, when he heard of Herod’s death did as the angel told him and returned to the Holy Land with Jesus and Mary. Avoiding the dangers of Bethlehem, they settled in the town of Nazareth in the area of Galilee. The Gospels describe Joseph as a tekton, the classic name for a carpenter. It is believed that he taught his craft to the young boy, Jesus.
Saint Joseph listened and obeyed simply because he initial loved God. If we’re forced by situations to occasionally “take a back seat,” we need to take into consideration Joseph. Entrusted with the care and protection of Jesus and His Blessed Mother, Joseph remained faithful, steadfast, and anonymous. He is final talked about in the Gospels frantically looking for the kid Jesus, lost in Jerusalem. Our final glimpse of Joseph is of a confused and bemused father, confronted by the concerns, “Why have been you looking for me? Did you not know that I need to be in my Father’s home?” (Luke two:49)
On Saint Joseph’s Day, let’s pray with each other for patience to listen, the grace to accept what we hear, and the wisdom of humility to recognize our personal insignificance in the vastness of God’s strategy.