The time is coming very shortly, just a few days away, in fact, when our total attention will be focused on the Blessed Virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus, the Messiah.
That attention is wholly appropriate to Christmas Eve and is the triumphant endpoint of our entire Advent preparation.
But there is one person who seems to fade into the background on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and that’s Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father.
In fact, fading into the background seems entirely in his nature. He seems like a behind-the-scenes type of guy.
We all know them—these people who are the salt-of-the-earth, hard-working, faithful souls whose quiet devotion to the simple, humble things that have to be done keeps the church and the family going.
But today in our gospel story he is dragged out into the limelight, and if we spend a little time with Joseph, we see that he is a man of profound spiritual depth, someone from whom we can learn a lot.
We read today that Joseph was a righteous man.
When he finds out that Mary is pregnant and he knows the child is not his because they are engaged but not married yet, he would have been well within his rights to call her out publicly.
After the child was born, she could have been executed by stoning. Continue reading