St. Joseph: The Impact of Saying “Yes!”
On March 19th, we celebrate a feast—a Solemnity actually—that is so significant to our life of Faith that it trumps Lent. That's right, on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, you can eat that chocolate you gave up, and on years that it falls on a Lenten Friday, you can even eat meat!
There are saint feast days every day of the year, so what is it that makes the foster father of Jesus so special? There are many aspects of his life of holiness we could point out, but as caretakers, one that I want to highlight is Joseph's acceptance of what (and who) God had given him to guide, nurture and protect.
Imagine if your fiancé or new spouse told you one day that they were going to have a son, and that you weren't the father. Like St. Joseph, you might consider "divorcing her quietly". Yet, ultimately, that's not what Joseph did. Instead, he embraced Jesus as his own son. Joseph protected his family from King Herod by fleeing with them to Egypt. When he returned, he loved Jesus as his own. And while we don't hear much from Joseph in the Gospels, we know that he took care of Jesus—and watching over the Son of God wasn't always the easiest task (think of when Mary and Joseph lost the Child Jesus, only to find him in the Temple sharing wisdom with the elders!).
As caring adults and parents, we too have children entrusted to our care. Perhaps we chose this role, as a teacher or a parent. Or, maybe, you experienced an unexpected pregnancy or were asked by your pastor to take on a ministry with children. Perhaps you only interact with children on occasion in your regular ministries in the Church. Regardless of your role, it is in saying "yes!" to these opportunities to guide children on the path to holiness that you are walking in the footsteps of St. Joseph.
On his feast day, ask for his intercession as you continue to live out the call to be a faithful witness to the young people God has placed in your life.
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