December 20, 2020
St. Joseph is one of the saints who never received the Eucharist. It’s almost like he is mirroring the prophets of the Old Testaments. He is just like Abraham who did not get to see the many sons that God promised him to see.
God said to Abraham: “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore” (Genesis 22:17). Abraham only saw his one son of the promise, Issac.
He is also like Joseph from the Old Testament who did not get to witness the exodus from Egypt and the work of God with his people. And like Joseph, Moses also did not get to see the promised land after all he went through with the people of Israel. David did not get to see the building of the temple either, even though he prepared everything for it.
Why? We don’t know, but St. Joseph lived it in a profound way, and in perfect humility, not trying to possess what was not allowed to him by God.
Joseph’s silence was not just a silence of the mouth, or the heart, or thoughts, but it was also a silence of the will. He was truly dead to self but alive to God’s will alone. This man by the grace of God was able to perform the greatest act a man can do which is self-control. Oh how much we need St. Joseph now to teach us how to control ourselves and our desires.
Just as God the Father was virtually silent when His Word was on earth, so also Joseph was completely silent in the presence of the Word of God. Even though Joseph did not get united to Jesus physically in the Blessed Sacrament, he was always united to him spiritually to the point that Jesus called him father on earth. Mary also called Joseph the father of her Son; “Mary said: Son why have you treated us so? Behold your father and I have been looking for you anxiously” (Luke 2:48).
Just as Mary is called by the Church the ‘Spouse of the Holy Spirit’, Joseph is also called the spouse of Mary. This means that Joseph, through Mary, enjoyed all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I guess this explains where he got his calm and gentleness from. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Nothing was said about Saint Joseph by anyone, but God called him a righteous man. This can be compared to Abraham in at least two ways; One is Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness (Romans 4:3). The second is we also know from the book of Genesis that God changed the name of Abram to Abraham: “No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations” (Genesis 17:5). Don’t we all call saint Joseph father also and Jesus is the fulfillment of Abraham’s prophecy.
This makes St. Joseph the spouse of the new Eve who, unlike the old Adam, did not grab the forbidden fruit so he may receive what is not his. Joseph gave his whole life to nourish the tree of life and it’s (her) fruit without even daring to touch the tree or to taste the fruit. Through self-denial and humility of heart Joseph protected the tree of life so we may enjoy it’s fruit. This is the great gift of St. Joseph.
Prayer: Father St. Joseph pray for all who can not have access to the fruit of the tree of life (The Eucharist) during these days of pandemic. Grant The Church and our noisy world the Spirits of silent, self control, humility and chastity that we may become saints like you enjoying The Holy Trinity and Mary for ever Amen.
Sr. Mary Catherine of the Cross is a Chaldean Hermit within the Chaldean Diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle U.S.A.