The silence of Joseph is striking as he takes up his vocation!
In Pope Benedict’s newest book, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, the Holy Father gives speaks of Joseph as a just man and gives us a look into this idea of being just in reference to Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17. A man who is just lives by the Torah and is rooted in the living waters of God’s Word, always beholding God’s face in order to discern God’s will. The law is Gospel for Joseph and therefore he does not put Mary to shame by following the external legal system. He loves her and remains obedient to God.
Joseph’s yes draws him into the very mystery of the Incarnation. He takes up his vocation to care for Mary and to legally adopt Jesus which leads the Lord to be born under the law. Joseph accepts God’s will even though he may not understand the full picture, yet he embraces his vocation to be father and head of the holy family.
Joseph teaches me a great deal today that I must learn to be silent in a world contaminated with so much noise and distractions. Joseph teaches me to orient my life on God’s living word, to meditate on it in order to live in right relationship with God.
At the same time, I have much fear about following God’s plan as Joseph did. I am not always sure of the future. I am not always sure of the great responsibility of being a spiritual father to thousands in this Archdiocese in the very near future. After all, when I look back on my life, twelve classmates entered with me in 2006 and only two of us remain on track towards the priesthood. These past months, I have received news that some of my closest friends have left the seminary. All this put together, it is a terrifying feeling to be obedient to God, so I look to Joseph as my model to be a father in this Archdiocese one day soon. He teaches me ultimately to trust in God’s plan and to love Mary.
So, too for us, we must trust God regardless of what his plan may be. Trusting requires silence, it requires having our lives oriented to God, trusting requires loving Mary our mother.
But here’s the catch! Ultimately, trusting God leads to making Christ known and born into the hearts of every person we meet. Joseph trusted in order to bring forth the Savior. We must trust as Joseph did, knowing that we too have a mission of making the Word Incarnate at every moment in our lives.
So in the silence of Joseph, in the trusting of God’s will, we too remain silent in order for the Word to dwell with us as we receive Him now in Holy Communion. Come, O LORD, speak in our silence and do not delay.