Saint Joseph, the just man

Saint Joseph, the father of Jesus, is a very mysterious but very important person. Joseph, at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, is «just according to the law»: he decides first to repudiate Mary. However, little by little, thanks to the dream, he becomes just «according to the plan of God». That is to say, he will obey the voice of the Spirit who has spoken to him in a dream, and whose council he will follow. At first, it is a human response; compassion, to the love he has for Mary, … then it will be a theological response, considering the love he has for God.

Joseph has extraordinary dreams: angels speak to him; the Lord speaks to him while he sleeps. These are dreams. I believe they are real dreams. However, it can also mean, outside the bounds of the classical dream, all that, one way or another, reaches the consciousness. A very deep meditation can also be considered a «dream». The dream is without a doubt an instrument of revelation.

The Gospel hardly shows the relationship between Jesus and Joseph. We still miss something! We see it when Jesus is lost and Joseph and Mary seek him, but later Joseph disappears and we do not know anything about their relationship. Just as nothing is known of the thirty years of Jesus’ life in Nazareth.

The name Joseph means, «God will add». It evokes hope; trust in God. It is a figure turned towards fertility. Model of adoption, he surpasses the patriarchal structures of his time which were very concerned about blood ties. He is the model of successful adoption. A model of humanity for someone who has to take care of others, such as a teacher who has to adopt all the students who come to him or her each September, to make a path with them and lead them to the end of the year, having assimilated well the academic, human and spiritual values.

Let us entrust to our father Saint Joseph, protector par excellence of Carmel, all our worries, the people around us, the projects that are important to us, so that he brings them to fullness, as he did with his beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

 

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