Most of us are familiar with St Joseph the Worker but there is much more to St Joseph. Though very little is spoken of him in scripture, we know that he was companion and most chaste spouse to Mary, foster father of Jesus, protector and provider of the Holy Family, a carpenter and earnest worker. St Joseph has two days in his honour: March 19 and May 1 (Patron of Workers). He is Patron of the UniversalChurch as well.
We especially focus on Mary’s fiat, but Joseph also said “yes” to protect and accept the responsibility that goes with fatherhood. Joseph must have trusted God utterly when he agreed to God’s plan. He protected Mary with his “yes”. History tells us that Jesus learnt the trade of his father Joseph. Joseph would have nurtured compassion and male strength in Jesus.
In scripture Jesus is often compassionate to women: the woman at the well, the woman with the haemorrhage, the widow whose son had died, Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha. He would have learnt compassion from his father Joseph. St Joseph is a role model, par excellence for all men in our society that they too may be compassionate to women – their mothers, wives, sisters wherever they encounter them, be it in the workplace, community, church.
This feast invites us to pray for all men – fathers, brothers, husbands that they may model St Joseph’s strength, fidelity, compassion and most all his faith in God.
St Joseph is also Protector for those who travel. As we get into our car each morning let us remember to entrust the journey to St Joseph to protect us as we travel.
St Joseph, faithful spouse of Mary and father of Jesus, help us to be faithful to God as you were faithful. Protect us each day as we travel our nation’s road. Protect all road users. Help us to be humble and ever ready to serve God as you did. May we be generous with our gifts and talents as we earn our living, honestly and earnestly. Amen.