“When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.” (Matthew 1:24)
If Judah’s involvement in Jesus’ ancestry was courtesy of the blessing he got, there is one person whose involvement came out of his own personal free will; someone who had every right as well as every reason not to be part of the story of Jesus Christ. His name is Joseph.
How many of us would agree to play the role of a father for a child that is not theirs biologically? How many men today would agree to marry a woman who becomes pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit? How many of us would accept to become celibates even while married to our spouse as was the case of Joseph?
In truth, Joseph deserves a lot of heroic commendation for his Faith. First, by his unwillingness to put Mary to shame, Joseph showed that he believed that regardless of what people do, they still deserve respect. Secondly, by listening to the Angel’s words in a dream, Joseph displayed faith in God’s ability to speak to us through dreams. Thirdly, by actually obeying the Angel, Joseph showed that he believed in the possibility of God taking flesh in the womb of a person.
Joseph’s faith should inspire us to believe that with God all things are possible. If Joseph had followed public opinion, he would have abandoned the Angel’s words, but he believed against all odds and in the end, his faith did not deceive him.
Again Joseph’s act of faith should make us reflect again on the meaning of the word “Father.” Who is a father? Is it simply one who makes a woman pregnant or one who takes responsibility for the care and upbringing of a child? Surely, we would not be wrong to call Joseph the Father of Jesus.
The role of Joseph in the life of Jesus not only authenticates Jesus’ real humanity, but it also proves that every child needs a Father to become all he or she needs to be.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, bless our Fathers. Keep them strong and endow them with faith like that of Joseph to love, care and protect their children. Amen.
Bible Study: Jeremiah 23:5-8, Psalm 72:1-19 & Matthew 1:18-24).