19 March 2018 Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary Homily
Second Samuel 7;4-5,12-14,16
Francis, shortly after he became Pope Francis, made a change in all of the Eucharistic prayers approved by the Church.
He added, after the words “Mary mother of God” in the listing of the saints of the church, “and Joseph her spouse”.
I do not know really what motivated that change in Pope Francis’ mind but it may have had something to do with calling attention to “marriage”. Francis may have sought to elevate the “service” of Joseph. Perhaps Francis may have found Joseph’s part in the Holy Family somewhat under recognized.
Joseph has an important role to play in the life of Mary and therefore in the life of Jesús.
Joseph could have “divorced her quietly” as Matthew tells us.
Joseph, however, was an understanding and tolerant man.
Joseph became Mary’s protector and Jesús’ step father, role model and guide we may surmise. Joseph leads the family into Egypt to protect Jesús’ from King Herod’s plot to kill the newborn king of the Jews.
In the Gospel today Joseph is a silent witness to the complexity of life with the independent, precocious and obviously wise, beyond his twelve short years, son.
Mary “wears the pants” in the family and speaks for Joseph’s and her anxiety after Jesús is “lost”.
Mary Joseph finally find Jesús after three days of searching for him in Jerusalem.
Jesús is in the Temple astonishing the teacher’s, people and even his parents.
In the end Jesús and his parents, who do not understand Jesús’ answer to the question from Mary , “Son, why have you done this to us?”
Jesús is astounded by this question and answers, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
Jesús “…..went down with them (his parents) to Nazareth, and was obedient to them” Luke informs us.
Joseph and Mary may have had many questions about their twelve year old son.
We surmise, in faith, that Mary and Joseph faithfully taught, nurtured and formed Jesús, to like them, follow the Father’s will in all things.