Reflection: We reflect today on a life yielded fully to the Holy Spirit: an example revered and emulated through the ages. This person is not much talked about, although his Feast Day was observed yesterday, March 19 and at least two Anglican churches in Jamaica honour him as their patron saint.
What lessons can we learn from him, St Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary?
His experience is a paradigm for adoptive, step and foster parents, guardians and mentors, who have fostered, protected and cared for children not biologically connected to them. In the Jamaica of today, as we hear much about unbecoming parenting and abused children and little of protective spouses and stable families headed by persons other than “real” parents, we give thanks for the noble example of St Joseph.
Joseph listened to and obeyed God. Notwithstanding confusion, anxiety, feelings of betrayal and loss, he adopted a positive attitude and, guided by the urgings of the Spirit, risked public ridicule and provided support and security for the Blessed Mother. He was present with the angels at Jesus’ birth, strategized escape and protection from Herod and established an earthly home for the Christ Child. A manual worker, unashamed of his trade, Joseph passed on his skill to Jesus thereby reminding us of the honour of honest work that contributes to the good of society.
When ‘unconventionally configured’ households (blended or extended) result in divided possessions, diluted positions and deflected attention, we do well to replace resentment by recalling the grace and humility of St Joseph, a central figure in Jesus’ early life but for whom Scripture records no spoken words. He gets no mention in Mark’s gospel nor in any book of the Bible after St John. The ideal facilitator, Joseph, King David’s descendant, stays out of the way – silent, secondary, almost unknown but fully effective.
Meditation: Romans 4:13 “… when we walk with God, we become part of God’s family… Joseph was of the “correct lineage”, especially for Jesus to fulfil the prophecy, but that is not what made him part of God’s household.” (Extract from Forward Day by Day, March 19, 2021)
Prayer: ‘O God, Who from the family of Your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of Your incarnate Son and the spouse of His virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to Your commands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever’. Amen. (Collect: Feast of St Joseph, CPWI, Book of Common Prayer (BCP) page 184)
The St. Jude’s Writers
St. Jude’s Church
Anglican Diocese of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
20 March 2021