18TH DECEMBER 2021
From the beginning of the salvation history, since the Old Testament, God began to prepare His people’s hearts for the fulfillment of his promise of the coming Messiah, who will be from the tribe of Judah, down the lineage of David. This promise about the lineage of the Messiah is accomplished today in the Gospel through the obedience of Joseph.
In the Gospel story, we see that Joseph must decide how to act justly in a difficult personal situation, about his future family. In that critical juncture God appears to provide instructions to guide him and to give him confidence in the path that leads to his deeper involvement in the Emmanuel story. The instructions in Joseph’s dream clarify that the decision of what to do about the discovery of Mary’s pregnancy was not just about his life and the life of Mary. Instead, he was being called to participate in the fulfillment of the coming of the long-promised Chosen One for which he and his ancestors had been praying. This was not just a dream, but an annunciation just as the first annunciation to Mary by the same Angel. This Good News brought by the Messenger of God, to announce the incarnation, Word becoming flesh.
God’s plan for salvation of the humanity, in becoming one of them, is accomplished by the Fiat, Yes of Mary. Through her yes, the Word became flesh. The same for Joseph; through his Yes to the Angel, the promise of Old, sending the Messiah, a descendent of Jesse, is also accomplished. After he gives God his fiat in taking Mary as his wife, St. Joseph is left with her care and that of the Redeemer who is only an infant. This is most important role of Joseph’s faith and obedience.
Joseph was an obedient man. Joseph, though, he had his own dream and plan for the future of his family with Mary, was ready to leave his own dreams for the future and stick on the will and plan of God alone. Of course it was not easy for him to accept and receive that but because of his total and open obedience to God, he accepts all that. He sacrificed whatever he was planning because of his love and obedience to God and His will.
Joseph was also a just and honest man. Just man means, doing what is right and acceptable in the eyes of God and man. He was just because he wanted to live a good life whether in the eyes of his Jewish culture and tradition; to have a good and lawful family. He was a just man because he wanted to live a honest and exemplar life for his family and relatives.
Joseph was also a courageous man. He knew that what is waiting for him is not that easy but he was always ready to face whatever will happen in fulfilling what was required from him. His fatherly role and duties, to bring the Son of God up, to protect and educate him, was not an easy task. To learn every time, and to see the mystery of his only son, was a long and difficult journey. Everything about Jesus, his son, was difficult to understand; but because of his courage, he was ready to endure all that.
And lastly, Joseph was a very humble man. Joseph put
God’s will and plan as his first and the only priority in his life. He did not speak much nor show off of his role and state as father of the Son of God, the Prophet and Messiah. He totally submitted his mind and heart to God. That is a very great and an imaginable humility before God.
As we continue preparing the Nativity of the Messiah in our heart, let us also learn obedience, justice, honesty and humility from Joseph. He taught the Son of God how to be obedient to His Father until death. The life and deeds of Joseph is a great model of total docility to the divine will, of obedience, and of love for fulfilling the will of the Father for us.