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He, betrothed to Mary, was appointed foster father of Jesus Christ.  That men may not speak ill of Mary, Joseph was described as Husband of Mary and Father Of Jesus Christ.  When the danger to Mary was over, the angel referred to Joseph by his true status:  "Bring the mother and the child," there was no longer reference to his being the Husband of Mary and Father of Jesus.  But then, those were mere titles and Joseph was more interested in doing God's will than in titles.  He continued to obey with zeal, taking the child and mother to Egypt.

Like all souls loved by God, Joseph's life was filled with sufferings interspersed with consolations.  Finding his betrothed with child was devastating; but seeing that the child was the Son of God was great consolation.  Having to register for the census in Bethlehem was a source of great worry; but beholding the child born was great happiness.  Hearing that the child was in danger of being killed was suffering; seeing the shepherds and wise men was consolation. 

The sufferings of Joseph were because Christ had to emphasize His humanity; He had to be born in a cave, He had to escape to Egypt, He had to grow up as Son of a carpenter.   His consolation was because Christ was God.  Though they had to flee to Egypt as warned by an angel, they did not need the escort service of the angel because with them was the Creator of angels. 

Suffering is essential to the following of Christ.  We must all suffer.  Life is truly short; it is suffering that makes life seem long.  Even Paul suffered hunger, thirst, being naked, buffeted; he had no fixed abode.  He labored, worked with his hands, was reviled, persecuted, blasphemed and treated as the refuse of the earth. 

What supported the saints was hope; that Christ would come, that their sufferings would end with this life and that they would be rewarded by being with Him. 

The thought that alleviates suffering is the thought that heaven is our Home, our Family;  that our Father is in heaven; that all trouble is here on earth. 

Only one saint typifies the next world and that is St. Joseph.  He is the type of rest, repose and peace.  He is the patron of home, both here and in the next life.  He is the saint of life and of death.  He always lived in heaven being with Christ all the time.  Let us put ourselves under his patronage.    




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