Today is the start of Section 2:
A Just Man before God
“Though thou hast recourse to many saints as thine intercessors, go specially to St. Joseph, for he has great power with God.”
St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church; Spiritual Maxims #65
A Man After God’s Own Heart
King David was the only man named in Scripture as a “man after God’s own heart.” This title stands out, because King David was the center of quite a scandal in his time. Not only did he have an adulterous affair, but he also became an accomplice to murder in his efforts to hide his sin. As the story unfolded, God sent the Prophet Nathan, David repented, and for ages humanity has been blessed to read some of the most beautiful penitential passages in all of Scripture (see Psalm 51). David’s life exemplified an incredible testimony to the truth of the famous words of St. Paul, “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20).
God “raised up David to be their king; of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David, the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do all my will’” (Acts 13:22). As men of God, our hearts’ mission must align with David’s in pursuit of the heart of the Father. Our actions, decisions, prayer and daily comings and goings should gratify the Lord.
Although King David was the only man we find in Scripture named as such, it is safe to say that St. Joseph was a man after God’s own heart. He was single-minded and whole-hearted in his desire to follow and do God’s will no matter the consequence. Consider what the Holy Spirit reveals to us about St. Joseph in the Scriptures. On four different occasions, God’s will was revealed to Joseph by means of an angel, and in each instance, Joseph responded with complete obedience.
But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:20)
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus. (Matthew 1:24-25)
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him. And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-14)
But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.” (Matthew 2:19-21)
But when he heard that Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth.” (Matthew 2:22-23)
St. Joseph intently listened to the voice of God and acted upon it from the time he awoke. Each day, we can hear St. Joseph emphatically resound, “Yes!” to the Lord’s call and will. In the heart of Joseph was a desire to adore the heart of God, and as a result, his deepest desires were satisfied. He was living proof of King David’s promise that you must, “find your delight in the Lord, who will give you your heart’s desire” (Psalm 27:5).
The world is desperate for more men like St. Joseph, men after God’s own heart. In order to be one yourself, you must lay down your will at his feet, proclaiming in your heart along with Mary and Joseph, “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
Tomorrow, we will consider the obstacles we must overcome.
Heavenly Father – give me the grace and desire to become a man after your own heart. Help me follow your will and trust in your goodness. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.
St. Joseph – make me a man after God’s own heart. Amen.