Joseph, the husband of Mary. He is a quiet figure in the Gospel, yet not without deep purpose. He could have chosen many different options after learning of Mary’s pregnancy. He still could have chosen many options after seeing the angel in his dream. He must have had plans of his own after becoming betrothed to Mary. There must have been some confusion running through his heart and mind after Mary returned from visiting Elizabeth several months pregnant.
Yet through all of this, Joseph did not react on his emotions or his own will. Instead, he fully and immediately responded to God’s will for him. Without comment, without question, without complaint, without hesitation. He fully trusted without much understanding of the mystery that lay before him. How often in our lives are we so filled with fears, doubts, worries, anxieties when situations arise in our own lives that seem to make little or no sense. We ask God, “Why me?” or just “Why?” Yet perhaps, God has an invitation there for us.
With a heart of great tenderness, Joseph listened to God in his dreams, in his capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. He is not afraid of goodness, of tenderness. Despite our inability to understand, our struggle to trust, our resistance to let go of our plans, “we must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!” This tenderness in our heart will lead us to greater trust and unfold God’s plans for our lives.
Let us continue to pray for Pope Francis at his request, that the Holy Spirit may accompany his Petrine ministry and bless him with a heart as tender as St Joseph’s.
Lord, help me to trust in Your plans for me, to have faith in knowing that You know best, even and especially when I myself cannot fully understand.
Adapted from a reflection by Quyen Nhi Ngo and Pope Francis’ homily today