While Joseph spoke not a word in Scripture, Our Lady spoke merely a few. Her words were powerful, and her final words say it all: “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). Mary spoke them to the chief steward at the Wedding Feast of Cana, and she perpetually speaks them to her children throughout human history. These are Mary’s words for us, the best and only Christian advice we need. Most people make things very complex, but Mary makes it very simple. In a single sentence, she sums up the entire life of St. Joseph, a life she witnessed firsthand. I’m sure this sentence was the mantra of their entire lives, and we are blessed that this wisdom has been passed along to us.
Yesterday, we heard that King David was honorably named “a man after my heart, who will do all my will” (Acts 13: 22). What merited this response from God? Precisely as God says, he “will do all my will.”
For David, this desire manifested itself as a desire to be in the presence of God. As the story unraveled we find that God’s plans differed from David’s as he had something else in store. Although it must have been incredibly difficult, King David obeyed. David’s heart longed for action as he yearned to build a temple where God could reside amongst his people. He began the preparations that his son, Solomon, would one day complete. David lived with a growing hunger to encounter the living God.
Nearly a thousand years later, a man once again experienced this presence of God in an earth-shattering way through unshakable obedience. “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 1:20-21).
The very person of God in flesh came to dwell in his home, eat at his table and work by his side. St. Joseph became a man after God’s own heart, as he gazed into the eyes of the child that he loved more than life. Joseph worked to feed his family, prayed to lead his family, longed to bring joy to his family and made decisions for the good of his family. By simply loving the son entrusted to him, St. Joseph became a man after God’s own heart.
Jesus promises that “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt. 18:20). Jesus longs to make good on this promise in the daily rhythm of your home. Just as Joseph was a man after the heart of his son, that very same son is present in the heart of your family. Joseph was the pioneer of Christian fatherhood as he fathered Christ. Make no mistake, he intercedes for you now that you may be a man after God’s own heart, and that you won’t miss the presence of God dwelling so clearly within the walls of your home.
St. Joseph not only carried out God’s will – he did not hesitate. He did not have a passive role in the story of our salvation, and he did not have a passive personality. He may have been meek and humble of heart, but St. Joseph was a man of action.
How is God calling you in your life and how will you respond? Do you have the humility and faith to do whatever he tells you?
Heavenly Father, at times it is very hard for me to discern your voice.
I desire to do your will. Help me draw closer to you and remove the clutter from my life, so that I may hear when you call. May your still, small voice be like thunder to my heart. Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.
St. Joseph, make me a man after God’s own heart. Amen.