Gospel Reflections

Feast of St Joseph

Luke 2:41-51

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Kathleen Mary Tracey

Published: March 19, 2015

Read Luke 2:41-51

Each year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival,... Read More…

Francis of Assisi once said “Proclaim the Gospel of the Lord always and use words if you have to.”

For me, those words describe how St. Joseph lived, long before St. Francis. We are told that Joseph was a “just man.” I have no doubt that he probably lived the words of the prophet Micah- “acting justly, loving tenderly and walking humbly with (his) your God.”

Now realizing that his betrothed is with child who is not his own, and no doubt loving Mary tenderly and trusting her too, he felt he might have to send her away privately so that she would not be publicly humiliated. Then he has a dream in which the Angel addresses him as “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife for she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit.”

I imagine that Joseph was aware of his ancestry, proud of it and feeling a bit comforted at the angel’s addressing him as “son of David.” As a Jew, Joseph would be aware that belonging to the line of David was important. As a Jew, he also would have held stories of Scripture in his heart – and many of these stories involved dreams. God was very real for Joseph and he acted immediately on the Lord’s message. I would suspect that Joseph, not understanding all that was contained in the message, knew well that he loved Mary and also wanted to do God’s will.

Scripture does not tell us even one single word spoken by Joseph. Yet by his way of life, in his great obedience to every detail of the angel’s message, he put into practice the spirit of the prophet Micah’s words, which we often sing........

“This is what Yahweh asks of you, only this
That you act justly, that you love tenderly,
That you walk humbly with your God.”
(cf: Micah ch 6 v 8)

Joseph, chosen by God to be guardian and protector of Mary and the Child who will be born, obeys immediately what he is asked to do in the next two dreams.

In his recent visit to the Philippines, Pope Francis, a friendly person, told the people: “I like St. Joseph very much. He is a strong man of silence......On my desk I have a statue of St. Joseph sleeping. While sleeping he looks after the Church...... When I have a problem or a difficulty I write on a piece of paper and I put it under his statue so that he can dream about it!”

If we imitate St. Joseph who in silence carried out his most wonderful mission from God as the guardian of Mary and Jesus, we will be able to do the same in our lives when we are called “To act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with our God.”

In the Scriptures, there are not any actual words attributed to St. Joseph but only his example of quiet contemplation and perfect obedience, as total submission to God’s Will. His actions are his Fiat and Magnificat. Many of us can be “all talk” but we have the silent and active example of St. Joseph, as a man of action, ready and willing to serve the Lord.

Let us pray for one another throughout the world that in the spirit of St. Joseph we may be “silent doers!”


Jesus, Mary and Joseph I give you my heart and my soul,
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, assist me in my last agony,
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may my being breathe forth your peace everywhere. Amen




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