St. Joseph and Pope Francis

Well folks, as always, I'm a bit behind.  Tuesday was both the solemnity of St. Joseph, patron of the universal church, and the inauguration of Pope Francis as the new Holy Father, Bishop of Rome, Pope, Vicar of Christ, etc.  His entire homily was fantastic (and it is, of course, at, but I just wanted to dig into one line he had.

"How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand."
Here, Pope Francis is talking about how Joseph's role as protector.  As Blessed John Paul the Second put it: “Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model” (Redemptoris Custos, 1).  How did St. Joseph perform this ministry?  

"Discreetly, humbly and silently" - Joseph wasn't in it for the money, or the fame, or the admiration of his friends, or any earthly benefits.  His humility was such that what was probably the biggest "job" or highest "occupation" ever, namely caring for and watching over God almighty incarnate and His immaculate, sinless, mother, the two most perfect humans to ever walk the earth, was done with no fanfare.  As many of you probably know, St. Joseph is never recorded to have said anything in the gospels.  He is humble despite being entrusted with the greatest mission of all time, and being one of the most holy men of all time.  What a guy!

"with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity" - St. Joseph was willing to totally dedicate himself to the mission that God entrusted him with.  He was willing to expend his entire life in the service of Jesus and Mary.  He was OK with having to pick up and move at a moments notice for their safety.  He gave himself totally to God, giving up his entire life, livelihood  plans, dreams, and everything else.  He gave up having a "normal" family, or a stable job, or a comfortable place to stay.  What a guy!

"even when he finds it hard to understand" - What would you do if you had a dream of an angel and he told you to move to Egypt?  I, for one, wouldn't take it seriously.  Sub-conscious nerve impulses - right?  Well, Joseph had the courage, and trust, in God to do the unthinkable.  When everybody (must have) said that Joseph was stupid.  When the world would have laughed at Joseph's dreams.  When we would have been content to ignore, postpone, or worm our way out of God's plan.  Joseph doesn't.  He obeys even when he doesn't know, even when he isn't sure, even when it looks crazy.  He doesn't ask why, or how, or when - he just does.  He obeys when it's tough, when it's weird  when it's not the thing to do.  What a guy!

St. Joseph - help us to follow God's plan for us with total humility, complete willingness, and total trust.  When you trusted God with everything, He entrusted everything to you.  When you gave up everything to follow God's plan, He gave you everything through His plan.  When you didn't know, weren't sure, were full of fear, and couldn't understand, you were still willing to follow God blindly.  Help us to do the same.   We ask this through the most holy name of Jesus.  Amen.