St. Arnold Janssen, the founder of the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD), had an ardent devotion to St. Joseph, who is prominently mentioned in today’s gospel.
Portrayed as never quoted to have spoken a word, St. Joseph is described to be a “righteous man” (Matthew 1:18). He waited for God to speak to him and responded obediently without hesitation.
St. Joseph is a model of obedience. When the angel told him the truth in a dream about the situation of Mary, he instantly took her as his wife. In this way, Joseph was the first to share in the “yes” of Mary.
St. Joseph is also a model for fathers. As head of his household, he was well aware that he served God the father’s representative in his family. In humility and silence, he protected and provided for Jesus and Mary. His loving care for them through poverty, dangers and difficulties.
Our devotion to St. Joseph does not end with him. The more we honor him, the more we become more loving towards Mary and Jesus. Because he is a “righteous man,” we ask his intercession that we remain calm and tranquil in all circumstances of life. For Christians trying to live out our calling to be saints, the simple, humble and hardworking life of St. Joseph must be our inspiration in our striving to be faithful to the law of God and His Church.
St. Joseph must be our model for a rich interior life in God. Next to the Blessed Virgin, he was the first to embrace Jesus. May we cultivate a path of life that leads to the closer relationship with Jesus and Mary.
– Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD (DYRF Radio, University of San Carlos-Cebu City)