St. Joseph’s Mass Reflection

Krystal Fernandes ’24

March 19, 2024

Today is the feast day of St. Joseph, the husband of Mary, Our Mother, and the foster father of Jesus. He is a direct descendant of Kind David and is part of the royal lineage. He worked as a carpenter to provide for his family. St. Bernard said that St. Joseph “was chosen among all men, to be the protector and guardian of the Virgin Mother of God; the defender and foster-father of Jesus, and the only co-operator upon earth, the one confidant of the secret of God in the work of the redemption of mankind” and this is the perfect summary of who he truly is. St. Joseph is the ideal example of how someone, who we might not suspect, can become great, simply by following God’s will.

He is the patron saint of many, many things. He is the patron saint of the dying because he died before Mary and Jesus did. It is presumed that they were close to him when he died. He is also the patron saint of the Universal Church because he protected and loved Jesus, who founded the Church, like no other. He is the patron saint of travelers, immigrants, and workers. St. Joseph is also the patron saint of unborn children. If he had left Mary, she would have been exposed to shame. Lastly, St. Joseph is the patron saint of fathers. He is a true example of what a husband and father should be. He may not have been Jesus’ biological father, but that did not change the immense love he had for Him. He loved Jesus even before He was born and loved Him every day of his life. He looked after Jesus and provided for his family.

When he first found out about Mary being pregnant, he wanted to quietly break off their engagement so that she would avoid scrutiny. But then in a dream, the Archangel Gabriel came to him and told him that she was carrying the Son of God, and that he should stay with Mary. Because of his free will, he could have still chosen to leave, but he obeyed God’s will. St. Joseph put God above all else and obeyed His word. St. Joseph went against tradition and risked his own reputation for the sake of his family. People surrounding him may have criticized and questioned him, but he stayed.

After the Magi came to visit Jesus, the Archangel Gabriel once again visited St. Joseph in a dream telling him to flee to Egypt because King Herod wanted to kill Jesus, and St. Joseph and Mary fled for the love of their child.  St. Joseph followed what the angel had told him.

The Trinity and the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – are both models of love. Like the Holy Family, all loving relationships are called to reflect the Trinity, through the love they have for each other. This love is self-giving and never-ending. The Holy Family trusted each other completely. Just like them, we too can love our family unconditionally.

We can be thankful for our fathers and for those who take on the role of father. They work hard and make sacrifices to send us to Catholic school and provide for us. Just as St. Joseph was Jesus’ protector, our fathers are called to protect us and look after us. We can be thankful and grateful for them.

We all have St. Josephs in our lives. They are the people who love us wholeheartedly, regardless of who we are and what we have done.  Just as St. Joseph accepted the word of God and believed and trusted in Him, we too can accept God’s word and have faith in Him.