“However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.” Deutero 4:9
Joseph was obedient. And, like Mary, he trusted. We can learn so much from St. Joseph. Scripture doesn’t say a lot about him, but what is written shows him to be a holy, humble and virtuous man.
His obedience and his trust in the face of almost impossible circumstances is awe-inspiring. How did he feel when he realized that his wife and the Savior would have to be born in a stable amongst the animals? How did he feel when he had to take his family to escape into Egypt with just the clothes on their backs?
Many paintings show Joseph humbly in the background. He humbly protected the Christ Child and Mary. He humbly taught Jesus the carpentry trade. St. Joseph humbly listened to God, obeyed Him and trusted Him.
Were we once reluctant to fast? Were we once reluctant to give up our life of sin?
For most of us, fasting is difficult. Even if we’ve been fasting for years, there are times it seems impossible. But it is always worthwhile. Jesus tells us to fast. The disciples fasted and Our Lady fasted. If we humbly take Joseph’s example of obedience and trust, then our fasting will be worthwhile and will help us to get to heaven.
Today as we continue our Lenten journey, let us remember St. Joseph (whose feast day we will celebrate on March 19). Let us fast and pray for the homeless, the lonely, new widows and new widowers who are facing the Christmas season without their spouses, and let us also pray and fast for all the community prayer intentions.
Holy Mary, pray for us! St. Joseph, pray for us! Holy Spirit, teach us to pray!