And Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah. Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.
But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In the arsenal of the enemy, fear is an insidious, highly effective weapon. Fear seeks to induce us to believe that God has abandoned us, that we are left to our own abilities to escape death or destruction. But human tendency to fear needn’t drive us to desperate decisions. Enter Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom we celebrate today. Rather than succumb to fear’s temptation, Joseph confidently drew upon his rootedness in the tradition of God’s ancestral covenant with his people. By surrendering his plan to God’s greater desires, St. Joseph chose obedience to God’s command and remained faithful to the covenant. That same covenant and choice extend to us today, enabling us to move forward in stronger faith rather than remain paralyzed by fear.
Can I become aware of fear’s many faces in my life, and allow God to transform my fear into greater trust in him?
—Cindy Ristroph is a parish minister at St. Aloysius Parish in Baton Rouge, LA, and occasionally writes for the dotMagis blog.
Gentle and humble Saint Joseph, you were chosen to be the Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of our Savior Jesus. Your life was guided by faith with trust in the Lord and His angels.
Be with me, as my spiritual father. Guard me and protect me wherever I go. Keep my heart open to the needs of others as yours was, and help me to always obey the will of God in my life. Amen.
—Traditional prayer to St. Joseph