Lessons from St. Joseph

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

WE have celebrated just recently the Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19). Once again we are made to consider the life and example of this great man from whom we can draw precious lessons that can be very helpful to all of us.

The first lesson is that God loves all of us collectively and individually with a love that can be considered a predilection even if we consider ourselves as small, insignificant, very ordinary according to our human standards, and even if we consider ourselves as completely undeserving of such love.

Precisely, what God did to St. Joseph, plucking him out from anonymity and human insignificance, tells us that our ordinary, insignificant status in our life is no problem or obstacle in receiving God’s love as long as, like St. Joseph, we do our part in following God’s will for us, whatever that may be.

Of course, for St. Joseph, God’s will was for him to be the husband of Mary, the foster father of Jesus. For us, God’s will may just be for us to be a simple worker, a father or mother of a family, or whatever. As long as we obey and follow that will, as long as we make ourselves available to that will even if some drastic efforts and sacrifices may be made, we are sure of receiving and enjoying God’s great love for us.

While it is true that we can consider St. Joseph to be truly lucky to be chosen in God’s very mysterious providence as Mary’s husband and Jesus’ foster father, we cannot and should not say that if God wants us to be a simple farmer, for example, we would be less lucky.

The true luck and fortune is not in the kind of position or status that God would like us to have in this life. Rather it is in the love with which we correspond to God’s will and love for us. Comparing our position with the status of St. Joseph would be nothing less than pure envy, pride and vanity which are an anomaly for us.

What we should rather see and imitate in the life of St. Joseph is his total availability to God’s will, his quick and courageous obedience in spite of the many sacrifices involved. This is what truly matters in our life.

To repeat, it’s not in the position we hold or the status we enjoy. In fact, in the case of St. Joseph, in spite of his very privileged position and status, he remained obscure in the eyes of men in his time.

Another lesson we can learn is that as long as we obey God’s will like what St. Joseph did, everything will be taken care of by God. St. Joseph managed to flee in haste to Egypt, bringing the child Jesus and his mother, to escape the rampage of Herod.

Yes, God takes care of everything. If we would just manage to be close to God the way St. Joseph was, then we would closely follow God’s ways which are always the ways of safety or ultimately those that would lead us to our eternal salvation, even if unavoidable sufferings may be involved. There is really nothing to worry about.

Let us strengthen our devotion to St. Joseph. Let us imitate his virtues, his strong faith in God, his obedience and docility, his simplicity and humility, his fortitude, etc. Imagine that many of the God’s messages to him were conveyed simply by dreams, and yet he managed to believe them and to act on them.

And yes, another lesson we can learn from the life of St. Joseph is that God always intervenes in our life. He never leaves us even if we feel he seems to be very far from us. He is always with us. Just look at the life of St. Joseph!

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com