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joseph: an upwardly mobile man
"[Joseph] did as the angel of the Lord had directed him." —Matthew 1:24
St. Joseph often found himself enmeshed in a series of unexpected circumstances. First, God became Lord of His marriage in a way no man could ever have imagined. Then, like a common refugee, Joseph was turned away from decent accommodations when he and Mary most needed them: at the moment of Jesus' birth (Lk 2:7). Then, during a dark night, he had to fend off a government-led assassination plot against his infant Foster-Son (Mt 2:13). Three times he had to pack up and move his family on short notice. He and Mary had to search in sorrow for three days for Jesus (Lk 2:48). Upon finding Jesus, Joseph then heard Jesus say: "Did you not know I had to be in My Father's house?" (Lk 2:49) Even after learning such amazing humility and childlike trust in God, it must have been difficult for Joseph to hear that he was playing second-fiddle as a father.
For the task of safeguarding the Child Jesus, God chose a man who excelled in hearing and obeying: St. Joseph, the man of faith. Joseph must have spent a lot of time on his knees in fervent prayer for help. The circumstances of his life repeatedly taught him instant obedience, which sprang from his instantly hearing God's commands, which flowed from his constant prayer.
With St. Joseph, let us be upwardly mobile. Let us cultivate the ability to instantly turn to God in prayer, hear His voice, and obey Him in faith. St. Joseph, pray for us.
Prayer: Father, I will trust in You with all my heart and rely not on my own intelligence (Prv 3:5).
Promise: "All depends on faith, everything is grace." —Rm 4:16
Praise: St. Joseph's faith and trust in God were blessed in ways unimaginable: he was allowed to be the spouse of the sinless Mary and the protector of the Son of God.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004