Saint Joseph and Perseverance
Saint Joseph stands as a model for authentic manhood and authentic fatherhood.
In our society the only value seems to be instant gratification. If I do something, anything, I want to see the results right away. A computer that has a lag time of more than 2 second, I will trade in for something faster. I want responses to my e-mails almost instantaneously, hence the popularity of such things as Instant Messenger.
But a man’s job is to have the long term view. What is going to be best for my family? How can I raise and form my children so that they will be good and godly, honest, hard working, and responsible? None of that comes over night. One of the key roles of the father is protection. A sobering fact is that when a father exits the home (usually through divorce) their children are 400 times more likely to be abused (see Faith Factor in Fathering. p. ) Throughout history, men have gone to war to protect their families and country. But that may have meant giving up one’s life for something they would not see, the security of their family and country. They knew what was of value and sacrificed for it.
As father’s we would love to see the fruit of our work, but sometimes, we have to be content with simply doing the right thing and trusting the rest to God. Saint Joseph is an excellent example of this. He was called to love and protect and provide for Mary and the child Jesus. The angel told him to not be afraid, to take Mary because the child within her was of the Holy Spirit. But Joseph never got to see any miracles; he never got to see the Resurrection. He died before the glory of Christ was fully revealed in His life and ministry. But he was faithful to his call. He provided a home; he guided the development of the family; and he gave Jesus a trade as a carpenter. He remained faithful through all those years, while not seeing the powerful ministry of Jesus and His ultimate triumph over the grave and sin. Yet, he did his job as man and as father by doing the daily tasks that God had set before him in providing for his family.
Men and fathers are called to be faithful, in season and out, whether or not they see the fruit of the good decisions they make. We must trust that the fruit will come, in our lives or in the lives of our children. By being faithful men and fathers, they provide a foundation for the generations to come.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.