love, family, holiness

“O Holy Family—the Family so closely united to the mystery which
we contemplate on the day of the Lord’s Birth—guide with your example
the families of the whole earth!”

Pope St. John Paul II


(Bartolome Esteban Murillo / circa 1660 / Hermitage Museum)

Joseph, the man tapped by God to be the earthly father of Jesus,
is more or less an enigma…just as he remains an enigma in
ecclesiastical history.

As a preteen, after Jesus was lost from the family’s caravan having hung back in Jerusalem to
visit the Temple following the family’s pilgrimage for the festival of the Passover,
we simply don’t hear /read much more regarding Joseph or of his presence in the boy Jesus’s life.

By the next time we hear about Jesus, he is a grown man who has a predestined meeting
with John the Baptist for baptism.
It is simply assumed that Joseph must have died, leaving Mary a widow.
And oddly, throughout the ages, artists have more or less depicted Joseph as an older man…
as we know that Mary was a young woman when she was engaged to Joseph.

Perhaps that has been the rationale…Joseph was older and therefore passed
away when Jesus was just an adolescent.
But I wonder…was he really that much older than Mary?

There seems to be more questions about the man Joseph than there are answers.
And perhaps that is all part of the Holy mystery that embraces our lives.

But the one thing I know…
the most important thing that we do know, is that Joseph had to be
quite the man to be chosen by God the Creator to be the earthly father to God’s only son.

The example of a man as to what a father is meant to be…
the type of man that our sons and daughters so desperately yearn for in their lives.

Our children, now more than ever, need their fathers.
Joseph reminds us of this.

“Love is an excellent thing, a great good indeed, which alone maketh light
all that is burdensome and equally bears all that is unequal.
For it carries a burden without being burdened and makes all that which
is bitter…sweet and savory.
The love of Jesus is noble and generous; it spurs us on to do great things
and excites us to desire always that which is most perfect.”

Thomas à Kempis, p. 87
An Excerpt From
Imitation of Christ

14 comments on “love, family, holiness

  1. Amen! Love this: “Our children, now more than ever, need their fathers.”

    Blessings from mighty King Jesus.

    • thank you Michael—I’ve always known Joseph was the one left hanging back in the shadows so to speak—but was integral to the earthly raising of God’s son—God knew this—a humble man who only wanted to serve God as best he could.
      What better example could a child have?!

  2. Frank Hubeny says:

    I like the phrase from the Imitation of Christ: “For it carries a burden without being burdened”. I’ve always imagined Joseph being a similar age to Mary. He might have died young or been working and so not mentioned. Or not relevant to what was revealed. I don’t know, but now I wonder.

  3. bcparkison says:

    We don’t always get the whole story.

  4. Tricia says:

    IT is interesting to think about Joseph, thanks for bring this up. I also wonder about Jesus as a boy and what his life was like. I wish there were more details.

  5. love, family, holiness

    On Monday, December 28, 2020, cookiecrumbstoliveby wrote:

    > Julie (aka Cookie) posted: “”O Holy Family—the Family so closely united to > the mystery which we contemplate on the day of the Lord’s Birth—guide with > your example the families of the whole earth!” Pope St. John Paul II > (Bartolome Esteban Murillo / circa 1660 / Hermitage Mu” >

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    Our world definitely today need fathers!

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