A Role Model for All Men

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The following is from the book “31 Day Novena to St. Joseph” edited by Dr. Rosalie A. Turton. Reflections and Meditations taken from “St. Joseph as Seen by Mystics and Historians”
While all men would contribute to the death of the savior, only one, St. Joseph, was to save Him from death in his infancy. Crisis reveals character. The flight into Egypt now showed to Mary that God had given her not only a devoted lover and a loyal husband, but a resolute man of action who would shirk nothing in Her defense and that of the child.
Let us consider now the anxiety and fright that Joseph suffered at the time when King Herod was looking for the Child to kill Him. Joseph was so unprepared for this news that, according to the Armenians, he fled the city as soon as he could with his Wife and left Her hidden in a cave. Then he went back to the city to look for some provisions and things for the journey, and he was an eyewitness to the slaughter of the innocents.
Afterwards, St. Joseph returned from the city with a few things for such a long journey, filled with fear and fright, and with this anxiety, the Holy Family began its flight from King Herod. And, since Joseph was afraid that they would be overtaken, he became uneasy when he saw soldiers on the road, fearful that they would tear the Child from Mary’s arms, as he had seen them do to others in the city.
The fear of being overtaken and discovered always accompanied those who fled, and made this journey for them a continuous nightmare, and Jerusalem was less than two hours away from Bethlehem. The flight was a rough one, six or seven days long.
In order to go to Egypt, they travelled through the desert and through towns. In the desert, they had to be on the watch for tigers, lions, snakes, beasts, wild animals, and robbers. The towns were inhabited by Gentiles, who were archenemies of the Israelites; since Joseph did not carry a halbred (weapon), he could not be sure of anything… and all this in the hardest part of winter with the discomfort of wind and snow!
In order to furnish them with some kind of shelter against the open air, however narrow and humble it might be, St. Joseph formed a sort of tent for the Divine Word and most Holy Mary by means of his cloak and some sticks. Everything they needed was lacking.
Another way that Joseph protected the God-man which also required tremendous strength, was to keep life-long silence about the Christ Child, in order more fittingly to hide from any witnesses the wonders which passed between them, and which were not to be communicated to outsiders. In silence, he prayed for many, and obtained the intercession of the Christ Child and His Mother.

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0 responses to “A Role Model for All Men

  1. true testament to being a real man…his faith was stronger than his fear

     
  2. Pingback: A Role Model for All Men | Christians Anonymous

  3. The flight into Egypt now showed to Mary that God had given her not only a devoted lover and a loyal husband, but a resolute man of action who would shirk nothing in Her defense and that of the child.

    While the above is unquestionably a beautiful thought, the Protoevangelion of St. James suggests rather strongly that Joseph never became Mary’s husband in the exact sense — that rather than becoming her lover as a conventional husband would, he merely fulfilled the duty of her safekeeping. Also, the doctrine of Mary Ever-Virgin would seem to cross-cut the notion that Joseph ever husbanded Mary in the conventional sense.
    Though the Protoevangelion was not added to the canonical Bible, it is nevertheless treated with respect by Christian scholars of all denominations…at least, if we omit consideration of “denominations” such as that to which Dan Brown claims to belong!

     
  4. Thank you, Mike, for this tribute to St. Joseph, a recognition that this great man seldom receives.
    St. Joseph’s first act of courage predated the flight to Egypt.
    According to Hebrew law and customs of the time, a girl who became pregnant outside of marriage could be stoned to death. Upon being told by Mary that she was pregnant with child although she had had no relations with a human male, Joseph had every reason to fear — not only for Mary, but also for his own fate because, in the eyes of the community, he would be the obvious culprit who had impregnated Mary while still unmarried. Joseph, thus, was in a quandary: To marry his fiancée would be an admission that he had impregnated her before marriage and he would have to live the rest of his life under the cloud of a bad reputation. Not to marry his fiancée, however, would mean abandoning Mary to, at best, a life of shame, and at worst, death by stoning.
    We are told, however, that Joseph heard the angel’s instruction, “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.” So he responded with courage and love: He married the pregnant Mary, thereby saving her from ostracism or death, even though he knew the child in her womb was not his.
    What a GREAT man Joseph is. Imagine him teaching and mentoring the child Jesus — God incarnated in human flesh whose nature is BOTH fully divine and fully human — on how to be a man and the artistry of carpentry. It is interesting that Jesus didn’t begin his public ministry until after his human dad had died. (At His baptism by St. John the Baptist, Jesus was informed of Joseph’s death, upon which Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and nights to prepare for His going public.)

     
    • I read somewhere that Joseph died before Jesus began his ministry, because it would have been unbearable for him to witness the Passion and Crucifixion.

       
  5. I never heard that; “Crisis reveals character.” That is so true. St. Joseph’s actions speak louder than words. May he pray for us all and especially when we are sick and dying.

     
    • That “Crisis reveals character” was proven to me over and over in my own life. I am the first to admit that I learned nothing from the high times, when money rolled in from all of my business ventures, and it seemed they’d never end.
      But it did, and it all came crashing down for me and my family. Former ‘friends’ who came around in the easy times disappeared; ‘sunshine friends’ quickly vanish when clouds roll over our lives.
      Fortunately, I had a good role model in my father and mother, and I determined to do as well as they had, in spite of setbacks and crises. And as a fellow I met in Pennsylvania told me, “Nobody can take away what you’ve got between your ears!”

       
  6. However; Mary remained a virgin; before, during and after the birth of Christ. The Perpetual Virginity of Mary is no insult to Saint Joseph. She was the Ark of the Covenant in the flesh. As we are all called to imitate her virtues and that of St Joseph’s chastity in our lives. If men only knew that; they would ponder the Holy Family daily.

     

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