Today is the Feast of St. Joseph.
At morning Mass we were reminded in the homily that St. Joseph was simply ordinary and we could take inspiration from his silence hidden life knowing that we too, who are “just ordinary” are called to holiness by loving God and neighbor for His sake.
As I pondered these words, it seemed to me that scripture tells us in the Gospel of Matthew that St. Joseph was a “just man” one who listened to the word of God sent to him by the angel, and generously acted upon that word in trusting love of God's almighty promise to send a Messiah. Perhaps he did not know the details of this call that God was asking of him, to take Mary as his wife, to guard her child as his own, but he nevertheless trusted in the power of God and not himself. I find his greatness in this fact that he was so perfectly in-tune with God and His will, that even in the midst of what seemed to be a contradiction (Mary found with child) he was perfectly obedient and at peace.
Pope Benedict XVI in a homily on St. Joseph said this: “...the evangelist Matthew who gives the greatest prominence to the putative father of Jesus, pointing out that, through him, the Child was legally inserted in David's line and thus he realized the Scriptures, in which the Messiah was prophesied as the son of David. “
This is the grace I believe we can ask of St. Joseph. After the example of St. Joseph, we can learn to put Christ and His Church first in our own lives. To listen to God's will and respond with action.
Yes, St. Joseph may have been ordinary because scripture tells us little of his life, but we know of his greatness because God choose him to be his foster father on earth, and scripture calls him “Just” one of the highest honors given a man in Hebrew history.