Fr. Sandy V. Enhaynes
There are two feasts in the Liturgy of the Church that are dedicated to St. Joseph:May 1, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, and today, March 19, the feast of St. Joseph the Husband of Mary.
We extol his holiness in relation to his wife, Mary. How did Joseph manifest this holiness? For one thing, he didn’t allow his personal judgment to mould the quality of his relationship with her. Instead, he submitted himself and his relationshp with Mary to the will of God. He initially wanted to leave Mary quietly, but God’s will prevailed. We can take our cue from him and see how we can make the same decisions when it comes to our relationships with others, even with ourselves.
It is not easy to rely on someone else’s life principles. But Jesus has already given us norms to live by. Examine these rationalizations: If I lean towards my own judgment, I will not forgive the offenses done to me, which are so great, and I trust that the Lord will understand if I withhold my forgiveness. If I will put much weight on my own analogy, I will not offer my other cheek for my enemy to slap me again. The Bible contains directives that were true during Jesus’ time. Surely He’ll understand if I just follow what I think He meant rather than what He literally says, like His stand on divorce or His directive on loving one’s enemies.
In these cases, we can see how Joseph’s disposition can help us. Even if we find absurd what Jesus tells us, or totally out of sync with our own judgment, we still need to submit ourselves to His will, and we’ll surely be better off. Joseph had the same dilemma, but he didn’t allow his personal reading of his situation affect his decision.
Couples will do better if they allow God’s wishes to prevail in their union. Just like St. Joseph, what should be foremost is what God wants even if what He desires contradicts with what we want for ourselves.
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you struggling with something in your relationship with your spouse or family member, or even with yourself? What does Jesus say about it?