Thursday, March 19, 2009

On St. Joseph

Today is the feast of St. Joseph, my patron saint. I've come to find new levels of inspiration in his life and work.

"What life and what work?" you should be asking. The guy's only mentioned briefly in the Gospels, and he barely did, well, anything. He was righteous so he didn't expose Mary to condemnation because she was pregnant, and he made sure the Holy Family was safe in Egypt when a certain tyrant was trying to kill Jesus.

We get no real story about Joseph; he's there when they have to find Jesus in the Temple but is not there once Jesus starts his ministry. From tradition and non-canonical writings we get a few more glimpses of the person of Joseph, but not much more.

Why be devoted to someone we know so little about him? He didn't leave any writings for me to study furiously. He didn't die the death of a martyr. He wasn't a heroic example of the faith by conventional standards.

And that is why he is my patron. As someone who is so eager to study theology, to practice contemplation, to do great things for the faith, it's easy for me to forget what we're really called to do as Christians. Joseph was not some hero whose works I will never be able to imitate but the common Christian who was called to nurture others, to protect the weak, and to love all.

It's that simple. It's hard enough to live that kind of quiet life which always points to God, but it's something we must all strive towards.

1 comment:

Country Parson said...

Happy St. Joseph's Day and keep your thumb out from between the hammer and the nail.