Many theologians have compared Jesus’s relationship with St Joseph with Jesus’s relationship with God the Father: St Joseph is very much present in Jesus’s life but he is somehow always hidden! St Joseph watched over Jesus and protected him, never leaving him to go his own way. St Joseph reminds us, in fact, that a man does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world, but by taking up the responsibility to care for that child.
Being a father entails introducing children to life: he makes them capable of deciding for themselves, enjoying freedom and exploring new possibilities. St Joseph teaches us that if we truly love others, we must trust in others. We have already observed how important it is to trust in God; it is also important to trust in each other.
Since St Joseph was sensitive to other people’s needs, he never made himself the centre of things. St Joseph knew that God was the most important person in his life, and this enabled him to constantly try to see reality as God sees it. This also explains why St Joseph was always ready to help someone in need.
In St Joseph we never see frustration and anger – not even when he and our Lady were heading back home and realised that Jesus was missing, as we read in the Gospel according to Luke (2:41-52). In St Joseph we see only trust. St Joseph found happiness not in mere self-sacrifice but in self-gift. This is why helped everyone joyfully and without grumbling, as we read in the Gospel.
Let us all learn from St Joseph in being good people who are sensitive to the needs of others and who are willing to give others the attention they truly deserve. Let us all follow in St Joseph’s example by believing that doing good matters more than being seen doing good. Let us pray so that we too, like St Joseph, see in one another a present – and not a sacrifice – and that our presence becomes a witness and a reminder that even if God seems hidden, God is still very much present in our lives.
Check out this quiz about St Joseph.