Today in the first reading from Jeremiah 23, the Lord says, “Behold, the days are coming when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David; as king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is right and just in the land.” I’m sure that, looking at this prophecy, the people were expecting a king in the mold of David; an earthly king that would return Israel to its former glory and more. But God had something different in mind. In the Gospel today from Matthew 1, we see nearly all that the Sacred Scriptures tell us about St. Joseph.
Joseph is described as “a righteous man.” This is a title we do not often find in Scripture. Noah was called a righteous man. Abraham was called a righteous man. Pretty heady company, no? Look up “righteous” in the dictionary. (You don’t really have to – I have already done it for you.) It says, “morally upright; without guilt or sin.” We know that Joseph was a holy and devout man. After all, he was chosen from the foundation of the world to protect, lead and guide the Son of God. To protect and nurture the Blessed Virgin Mary. Overwhelming? I would find it so.
But Joseph was one who didn’t question the will of God. Interesting that God revealed His will to Joseph in dreams. I’m not so sure that I would have been so quick to believe something that came to me in a dream. I would probably write it off to some bad pepperonis on my pizza the night before. But not Joseph. He took the pregnant Mary into his home, fully intent on taking care of her and this child who would save the world. Now that’s a super-dad. And one that all fathers should emulate.
Father, we thank you for the faithfulness and righteousness of St. Joseph. Give all fathers that same desire to do your will, to love and protect our families, and raise our children in Your way. Amen.