March 19 – Today, the Church commemorates Joseph, guardian of our Lord. All that we know of Joseph we learn from the first two chapters of the Gospels according to St. Matthew and St. Luke. He is mentioned only in passing in Luke 3:23; John 1:45; John 6:42 as the supposed father of Jesus. (Mark does not mention him at all.)
Though the Bible tells us little about the husband of Jesus’ mother Mary, we know that he was a carpenter by trade. Above all, he is shown as being devoted both to God and to Mary and Jesus.
This year, given the rise in anti-immigrant attitudes in our society, I am especially drawn to the following verses in Matthew 2:
“…an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod.” [Mt. 2:13-15]
What would our response be to Joseph and his family were they to seek asylum within our borders?
In Spain, it is Father’s Day. Some have suggested that this day should be known as the Church’s Fathers’ Day as well.
O God, from the family of your servant David you raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the husband of his blessed mother. Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (ELW)