In times of trouble, when things are dark, we can learn from St Joseph, who knew “how to walk in darkness,” “listen to the voice of God,” and “go forward in silence, ” Pope Francis said in his homily during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Monday.
While he “did not understand,” the Pope said, Joseph knew that Mary was “a woman of God,” and believed when the Lord sent him an angel in a dream to explain that the child had been conceived through the Holy Spirit.
“Joseph fought within himself; in that struggle, the voice of God is heard: ‘But get up’ – that ‘Get up’ – so many times we hear in the Bible at the beginning of a mission… ‘Take Mary, bring her to your home. Take charge of the situation; take this situation in hand, and go forward.’ Joseph didn’t go to his friends to be comforted, he didn’t go to a psychiatrist so that he could interpret the dream. No… He believed. And he went forward. He took the situation in hand. But what must you take in hand, Joseph?
What was the situation? What was it that Joseph had to take up? “Two things: fatherhood, and mystery,” Francis answered.
Fatherhood is already implied in the genealogy of Jesus, which explains how He “was thought to be the son of Joseph.”
“He took on a paternity that was not his own: it came from the Father. And he went ahead with that fatherhood and all it signified: not only supporting Mary and the Child, but also raising the Child, teaching Him his trade, bringing Him up to manhood. ‘Take up a paternity that is not yours, but God’s.’ And this, without saying a word. In the Gospel, there is not a single word spoken by Joseph. A man of silence, of silent obedience.”
Turning to mystery, the Holy Father explained that Jesus took in hand the mystery of leading people back to God mentioned in the first reading.
“Joseph took in hand this mystery and helps: with silence, with his work, up to the moment when God called him to Himself. It is said of this man, who took up fatherhood and mystery, that he was the shadow of the Father: the shadow of God the Father.
“And if the man Jesus learned to say ‘daddy,’ ‘father,’ to His Father Who He knew as God,” Francis explained, “He learned it from life, from the witness of Joseph, the man who took care of Him, the man who raised Him, the man who carried forward every paternity and every mystery, but took nothing for himself.”
Pope Francis concluded saying this is the great Joseph, whom God needed to carry forward “the mystery of leading the people anew to the new Creation.”
Source: ICN/Vatican Radio