Serving the Catholic Communities of Elizabethtown, Eldorado and Harrisburg Illinois

Joseph the Noble Man

It’s fourth Sunday of Advent. With the four weeks of Advent season ending, we are ready to start the Christmas season. 

Obviously, not so much was written or mentioned both in the apostolic tradition and in the scriptures in general about this noble man called Joseph. Even the few times that he surfaced in the Bible. Mary actually spoke on his behalf. Even when they had to go find their son Jesus in the temple, it was Mary who spoke, “Your father and I have been looking for you”. There is no record of any statement accredited to Joseph. In fact, it came to a point where nobody said anything about him and he was not even seen through the rest of Jesus’ life and ministry.  However, oral tradition has it that Joseph was much older than Mary and so he probably would have died by the time Jesus reached adulthood and of course, the last part of his ministry.

From the little we know about this noble man called Joseph, I dare to say that the quality of life is not necessarily in its duration but in its donation. With just one single act, Joseph was able to play his own role in salvation history,. He too said yes to God. Not minding the rumors, the gossips and in fact, the threat of customs and traditions around him, Joseph did what was right. He obeyed God. Joseph helped in the fulfillment of the prophesy of Isaiah by not discarding his dream, “a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel”. Joseph was the man to whom this virgin was betrothed.

In his dream Joseph was asked by God to take Mary home. Now, come to think of it, if Joseph had said, ‘It’s just a dream,’ or if he had said, ‘Oh no! God cannot do this to me,’ or if Joseph refused to listen to God it would have amounted to Mary being stoned to death because being pregnant out of wed-lock was punishable by     stoning the person to death according to Jewish law.

The action of Joseph which may be considered stupid or senseless by some people actually saved Mary’s life for her to give birth to Jesus, who will come to save us all. Yes, the virgin had her son and his name is Emmanuel – God is with us.

As we celebrate Christmas, may you experience the peace of Christ and God’s blessing in the New Year,

Merry Christmas

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