Reading 1, Second Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
Reading 2, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22
Gospel, Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24
Today we begin our journey together with From His Roots, reflecting on the Word as a community of Catholic men who strive to live out our lives in accordance with The Faith. It is worth pointing out that, entirely by chance (or the Holy Spirit), this couldn’t be starting on a more appropriate day – the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
St. Joseph a man venerated for being exactly that, a good and “righteous man” (Mt 1:19). But what exactly constitutes a righteous man? In Romans 4:13 Paul professes there to be a righteousness that comes from faith – which again is reminiscent of St. Joseph who is often considered the model of the man and the pious believer. But, again, we have to ask – what is it to be a righteous man and pious believer in the way St. Joseph modeled?
In our post-modern world many have defined faith as belief without reason. However, this definition is wrong – especially from what Paul, Jesus, and the gospels had in mind. Faith is not conviction. It is not belief without proof or in spite of it. Regardless whether a person accepts or denies the spiritual world, mere feeling will continue to assault our conviction. No opinion itself – no matter how stubborn – can overcome this. There are simply times when our moods attack our faith.
Joseph shows us what true faith looks like. We are reminded of our rocky introduction to the marriage of Mary and Joseph, as Joseph nearly divorces her thinking she has been unfaithful before the angel explains things to him. Joseph, being a righteous man, is then open enough to the Lord to “do as the angel of the Lord commanded him”. Here, Joseph shows us true faith: to assert, love, and believe in the works of God. By following the Lord’s path, he is able to form the Holy Family. Saint Joseph lived in complete service to the Blessed Mary and to Jesus. He labored every day to support them, choosing to live faithfully and humbly.
No one is free from the anxiety of daily life. Even the parents of Jesus, in today’s gospel, had “great anxiety” after discovering their son was not in the caravan (Lk 2:48). If we too are overcome with anxiety while looking for Jesus, remember where Joseph and Mary found our Lord – in His Father’s house (Lk 2:49).