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
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.