Yet, today my focus shifts towards his amazing ability to work out his relationship with others on so many levels. Just a few thoughts on this:
1. St. Joseph’s relationship with God who chose him to be a spouse and husband of Our Lady and the foster father and a protector of Jesus. It amazes me how Joseph was able to work out this peculiar relationship with demanding God who spoke to him in dreams, urging to underatake an immediate action in absolute obedience, like firefighters or special forces commandos who do not ask questions but go and do the mission. Joseph was totally silent and obedient servant of God and because of this attitude he was able to excel in his role and position as the protector of the Holy Family making sure God’s Will is done to the fullest.
2. St. Joseph’s relationship with his wife, Our Lady. I try to figure out how he felt when he learned she was pregnant with the child who was not of his own blood. How he worked out this relationship from falling in love with Mary through the rejection of her because of the pregnancy to full acceptance of the situation and embracing it in an active role - is truly a masterpiece of perfection of human relationships of spousal love and total dedication and inclusiveness. How gentle and loving he was not to make a public scene with this scandal of Mary’s pregnancy. And how he excelled in his role as Mary's loving husband, protector and provider.
3. St. Joseph’s relationship with Jesus. We know too well how difficult to many men is accept and love a child who is not their own blood. To bring up a blood which is not yours with love and utmost care is a genuine heroism and perfection of the guardian-son relationship to the level of genuine father-son relationship. Joseph did just that. And he was able to put aside his need to have his own child and continue his bloodline - for the sake of Jesus and total committment to His case.
4. St. Joseph’s relationship with his own family, clan, folk, neighbors. He managed to keep these relationships at bay, not giving in to obvious natural demands of family life at the expense of Jesus and His Mother. Even when he ordered to leave immediately at night to save the family, without even saying goodbye to relatives, he did so without hesitation.
5. St. Joseph’s relationship with other nations - when Jesus, Mary and himself were in Egypt, apparently he was able to settle well among neighbors and citizens of that country and work out relationships with them. It seems these relationships were normal as we don’t have any accounts of that period in Egypt, And perhaps the Holy Family felt comfortable enough there, without any hints of rush to go back, maybe because of fear of Herod, maybe because they have blended somehow in that society, without losing their faith and customs of course, yet still God had to come back to Joseph to tell him to go back home.
May St. Joseph help us to work out our own relationships with God, spouses, relatives, coworkers, neighbors, friends, strangers and enemies. St. Joseph, pray for us!