Joseph was husband to Mary and the virginal father to Jesus. He gets lost, because … well, he is not as holy as Mary and Jesus. And while Jesus should be our primary focus, we should not miss Mary or Joseph. Mary, of course, was the Immaculate Mother of God and rightly is the one we honor after Jesus. But what of Joseph? Would he be next?
Well, if we believe that God gives you the grace you need to accomplish your calling, he indeed should be. After Mary’s calling, is there any greater? He was husband to the Mother of God. He was the earthly father of the Son of God. He was the Head of the Holy Family. He protected them, provided for them, and did all that was required of him as a husband and a father. Other husbands and fathers do likewise, but he did so for the Son of God and the Mother of God.
At our time, fatherhood is under attack. Many do not accept their responsibility and leave women to be single mothers. The children are left without the love and protection of their father, feeling rejected by their father. In Joseph, we see the ultimate human father. He does everything that he is supposed to do, when he is supposed to, even if it means a hardship on him.
Fatherhood is a true man-maker. Accepting and bearing responsibility makes a man. It is a tragedy in our society of all the physically mature males that never reach manhood. Joseph shows us true manhood. Indeed, Jesus is the ultimate man Who made the ultimate sacrifice. But He also had an example in Joseph of a man sacrificing every day for Him and His mother. We need men like Joseph to accept and bear responsibility. In that, there are sorrows, but also great joys that overshadow the sorrows, just like how the joy of Easter overshadows the sorrow of Good Friday.
Joseph, be a father to us. Provide for us, protect us, and guide us, so that we might make it home to Heaven. Amen.