ST JOSEPH QUALITIES

Joseph 7

From a Homily on St. Joseph by Pope Paul VI  1969

At first sight there seems to be no material for a meditation on Joseph, for what do we know of him, apart from his name and a few events that occurred in Our Lord’s childhood? The Gospel does not record a single word from him; his language is silence.It was his attention to the angelic voices which spoke in his sleep; it was that prompt and generous obedience which was demanded from him;  it was manual labour, in the most modest and fatiguing of forms, which earned Jesus the reputation of being “the son of the carpenter” (Mt. 13:55). There, is nothing else known of him, and it might well be said that he lived an unknown life, the life of a simple artisan, with no sign of personal greatness.

But that humble figure which was so near to Jesus and Mary, Christ’s Virgin Mother, he who was so intimately connected with their life and so closely linked with the genealogy of the Messiah as to be the fateful and conclusive representative of the descendants of David (Mt. 1, 20), is revealed as being full of significance if we look at him attentively. He is seen truly to possess those qualities which the Church attributes to him in her liturgy, which the devotion of the faithful also attributes to him, and which gave rise to a series of invocations that have taken the form of a litany. (to be continued)

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