We ended the year of St. Joseph on December 8th. It was wonderful to honor that great saint. In today’s world where it seems everyone looks to draw attention to themselves, he is a wonderful model of “doing the opposite”. His every breath was spent taking care of his family…making a place for them, keeping them safe, encouraging them, teaching them. St. Joseph is the model husband and father.
In a recent article on St. Joseph the author noted that we should “let the hidden life of Joseph be the object of our veneration….perhaps from so fine an example we will learn that one can be great without outward show, that one can be blessed without attracting attention, and that one can have true glory without the help of fame, but by the testimony of conscience alone… this thought will inspire us to set at naught the glory of the world.” (Bishop Bossuet, Magnificat, 12-18-21) Wow, that is very well said.
Jesus reminds us that “the last will be first, and the first last.” (Mt. 20:16) I expect that St. Joseph will get his full honoring in heaven. Better an eternity of heavenly honor over a few days of earthly honor.
I have to say that all of this is “easier said than done”. There’s something in most of us that wants the attention, the accolades. Sure we like to do it without any effort on our part…no drawing attention to ourselves, but we still want it. A good friend told the story of the man who was awarded a medal for humility, but they took it away from him because he wore it”. (ref. Harold O’Brien)
So St. Joseph, what’s the secret to humility? “Well, focus on doing God’s will, the only thing that matters…focus on loving God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself….allow God to take care of you, to defend you, to honor you. God sees everything; he especially sees that which is done in secret, like your prayer and service; he especially sees things that no one else sees.”
Hmmmmm, sounds pretty good St. Joseph. Please pray for us that we can open our hearts to do that. St. Joseph, husband to Mary, foster-father to Jesus, patron of the Church, terror of demons, pray for us. And please pray that we can be servants during the rest of Advent, and into the Christmas season.