The Example of St. Joseph

Sunday, December 18, 2022

READINGS: IS 7:10-14, 10; PS 24:1-6; ROM 1:1-7; MT 1:18-24

Advent preparations are drawing to a close and Christmas is a week away – it is only fitting that today’s readings demonstrate the intensity of the Father’s perfect and passionate love for each one of us, culminating in the gift of His own Son, Jesus Christ, on Christmas Day.

In response to such an overwhelming gift, what can we do except offer our lives as a gift in return, making our Catholic faith the way we live our lives with all the love and strength we must give?

In our Gospel passage from Matthew on this fourth Sunday of Advent, we find in Saint Joseph an unparalleled example of one who embraced this way of life, as he obeyed God’s invitation to him through the message of an angel.

We never hear Saint Joseph speak, but the Scriptures tell us he was always listening, attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit for his family. It was Joseph who found the stable where the baby Jesus would be born. No doubt it was Joseph who cleaned it up and prepared it for Mary and Jesus since we know that Mary was about to give birth. Joseph protected the family, guarded them, and tended to their safety, their comfort, and their well-being at the expense of his own plans and preferences. Though we do not hear any words from Saint Joseph, his actions clearly show that he offered himself and his whole life as a gift to his family through his strong guidance, protection, and service.

Let us imitate Saint Joseph, as we give our very lives to those around us in love and gratitude to God, who has given us everything we have, especially His own Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.