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Saturday, December 18, 2010



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We all know that Mary was the recipient of the Good News of the Incarnation. In the account of St. Luke, Mary took the center stage in the Infancy Narratives.  But in today’s gospel of St. Matthew the Good News of the Incarnation was also shared to someone else who would be playing a pivotal role in the salvific event.  His name was Joseph.
WE know that there was a boy in the Old Testament named Joseph the dreamer.  He was the one responsible for the Israelites to go to Egypt and from there the People of God would be born.  Now another Joseph in the New Testament who was also a dreamer would be responsible for the birthing of the new People of God.
In the Jewish customs, when a man and a woman are betrothed, they are practically and legally husband and wife.  After bethrothal Joseph found out that Mary was already with child.  To save Mary from stoning to death because of an impending scandal, he contemplated to divorce her.  It was in this point that the angel appeared to him in a dream and explained to him the mystery that was happening.
Most of us call Joseph as the foster father of Jesus.  Yes that is true but there is something more to Joseph than just being a foster father .  Let us now reflect on the role of this great man in the history of salvation.  Joseph was the one who gave the name Jesus.  How do we understand this?  When we hear the genealogy of Jesus, we traced the lineage of Jesus to three fourteen generations back to Abraham and David.  At the end of many names, we hear the name of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Because Joseph was the husband of Mary, her son is legally the son of Joseph. It was because of Joseph that Jesus was connected to the lineage of David hence is called the Son of David.  And what is so important with this?  We all know that the Messiah will come from the stump of Jesse who was the father of David as prophecied by Isaiah in the first reading.  If this is not true of Jesus, then he would be an impostor.  That’s the greatest contribution  of Joseph in the life of Jesus and in the history of salvation.
Secondly, the gospel relates that Joseph took Mary his wife into his home.  He did it because of his obedience to the angel.   By this, we understand that he became the “Guardian of the Incarnation”, husband to Mary and the legal father of Jesus.  Pope John Paul II wrote a beautiful encyclical letter “Redemptoris Custos” or the “Guardian of the Redeemer”.  Here lies the greatness of this man who has never spoken any single word in the gospels.  Here is the power of silence and contemplation!  Joseph stayed behind the “limelight” of the Mystery of the Incarnation, he stood at the background in obedience and in silence. What an inspiration for us who like to be looked upon, be applauded, be at the center of attention.
          Most of the pictures of St. Joseph depict him as an old man. This was  because the artists wanted to guard the virginal conception of Mary but in fact he must be a young husband to Mary.
In 1889 Pope Leo the XIII declared him the patron of the Universal Church. Indeed if God has entrusted to St. Joseph the legal fatherhood and guardianship of the Incarnation, then it is but fitting that we entrust our Church under the care of this great man.  St. Joseph, pray for us.


  1. wow so great! Heartwarming and Enlightening!

  2. thanks choi! i could say more on st. joseph but the australian audience only allows us 8 minutes for a homily.

  3. But the internet audience allows us 800 minutes for a homily. So.....