Men of St. Joseph

Suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream and said to him, “Joseph, Son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife.  It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this child.  She is to have a son and you are to name him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”           Matthew 1: 20-21
 
Joseph, the humble carpenter, is a man called by God to be a husband and father.  God’s plan unfolds amidst an unplanned pregnancy, disappointment and confusion, wedding plans disturbed, and dangerous circumstances in an unsettled time.  The trouble of our times, with its confusion and dangers, is not all that different.  God is still calling ordinary men to be husbands, fathers, workers, priests, citizens, pilgrims, and apostles to do the extraordinary… to bring Jesus into the world !
 
How can this be ?  Why should the Lord trust us ?  Again, imagine Joseph, the carpenter who was called to be the foster father for God Himself !  It was Joseph who remembered the promises of the prophets… “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord, your God, goes with you.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31: 6,  Heb. 13:5)
 
Today God is still calling men to care for children, to love and affirm our wives, to be honest workers, to serve our parishes, to do the things that will change the world.  Unfortunately, this call has often been hidden or forgotten, and many of us have lost our sense of purpose and have not been properly affirmed in God’s unique and important call in our lives.  Many men have become broken or limited by the false images of irresponsible men in our contemporary world, as well as the narrow stereotypes of male dominance from the past.
 
Our society is in crisis, experiencing a social and moral breakdown, and it is crucial for men to respond.  It is time for us to refocus on the Lord, Jesus, and our heavenly Father as our models of love and sacrifice of true manhood.  Where we have been broken and unaffirmed, the Lord will heal.  We also look to St. Joseph, an ordinary man like us, who demonstrates God’s faithfulness and trust.
 
We know that men need to be present to affirm each other in this call and to affirm their sons and daughters in the love of a father that so many have not known in these times of broken families.  This is God’s call to men, a call that needs to be proclaimed again to restore our own lives, our marriages, our families, our parishes, our society, and our world.