Posted: 19 Mar 2009 12:00 AM PDT
2 Sm 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16 / Rom 4:13, 16-18, 22 / Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a or Lk 2:41-51a
Joseph, being a descendant of David, SOMEWHERE down the line, had the right to ascend to the throne. Did he think it anywhere near a possibility for him? Probably not. Yet, as he lived with Mary and Jesus, he had to have some idea that this is what God intended.
Can you imagine the feeling inside of him? He was establishing the new line of the Kingdom of David. Who could he share that with? How can he go to the corner and say to his friends, “Hey guys, guess what?”
To have to hold in the truth of what the angel had revealed to him and Mary must have been one of Joseph’s greatest burdens. Imagine: Your son, the King! I have no doubt Joseph would have turned his thoughts to the statements of Nathan to David that we hear from the first reading today. Now Joseph is in the same kind of position, but who can he tell?
Many times Joseph must have recited the psalm that we have in our responsorial today. He would have known and had been waiting for the new covenant to break into the world. Now here, this Son that he had adopted was the One who was going to bring that to us all.
What kind of joy and sweet pain he must have had, knowing what he knew about Who this young child was. Yet, in silence he protected Mary and Jesus until the time that he was called to give that up for the sake of the Kingdom of God. How hard would it have been for him to leave when God called him out of this world into the next, before all that had been promised had come to pass.
How many parents today wish they could stay around to see the success — and the trials — of their own children? It’s a natural thing to want to see your children succeed. Yet the witness of Joseph is to put all that in the hands of God: to proclaim the psalm as David did knowing that Solomon was to become the King and he would have the job of building the temple; to proclaim the psalm as Joseph did, knowing that Jesus would become the King, but Joseph would not see it, just as David did not see Solomon succeed.
Joseph had to wait for the redemption that Jesus was to bring. And I believe it was probably the most painful waiting of his life. Since we believe that Joseph died before Jesus, what would that reunion have been like? There, in Sheol, father and Son embrace, and all the dreams of a lifetime are fulfilled!
We can only imagine that moment of joy, but how sweet it must have been.
Today, on this feast of Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I urge all of you parents, especially you fathers, to ask, through the intercession of Saint Joseph, for the good of your children: for their success — that they will hold to the faith — and that they will reveal the glory of God to a world that does not understand His glory.
Then, in the Kingdom of God, you too can embrace your children and rejoice in the glory of God that they helped to bring to the earth. Today, give thanks to the Lord that He has been faithful and that He has filled your children, and you, with a faith in Him.