We really need more Joseph’s out in the world today. We need more people who will take responsibility and do the right thing even if they don’t need to.
In today’s Gospel, Matthew 1: 18-24, we recall the story of the angel coming to Joseph letting him know that his betrothed, Mary, would be having a baby. Joseph and Mary weren’t yet living together, the custom was to live separately for a year, so needless to say Joseph was surprised Mary was pregnant. His first reaction was to quietly divorce her so she wouldn’t have to suffer any scandal, when the angel told him not to.
Joseph could have not listened to the angel and done what he originally intended, he could have chosen to not take responsibility, walking away, but he didn’t. instead he and Mary raised their son and we know the rest of the story. Unlike so many today who would have walked away, even when they are physically the father, Joseph stayed, raising Jesus as his own. While we do’t know a lot about Joseph, no where in the Bible is he heard saying anything, in fact the only time we learn of him again is when he and Mary have to return to the temple after Jesus stays behind, but we can assume Joseph never complained about his circumstances. He didn’t ask for help, he just accepted what God asked him to do and did his best. I am sure it was hard, worrying about how he could afford this, and I am sure he just worked harder. He didn’t run away though. Even Mary accepted her responsibility without question, again, unlike so many today.
Wouldn’t it be nice if more people were like Mary and Joseph, taking responsibility and not running away from them? Instead of the father disappearing or the mother killing the baby through abortion. I guess we can only pray that someday this will be. In the meantime we should take responsibility for our actions and especially when God asks us to do something for Him.
Here is a blog post from Catholic Apologist Jimmy Akin on this explaining this assage better than I ever could.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1: 18-21