As we began the year 2021, we have witnessed national upheavals, protests, besides the pandemic situation, which we are struggling with. There may be many other challenges and concerns experienced individually or as a family, which may cause anxiety or make us feel overwhelmed. How to confront these challenges? In such situations, “hope for the better” is the only virtue, which can firmly enable us to continue our life. Hope is a gift of the Holy Spirit, which serves like an anchor amidst the storms of life.
St. Joseph faced many occasions of challenges and confusions. In all such situations, it was his firm hope, which served him as an anchor of security. When he came to know, for example, that Mary was pregnant, we can imagine how much he must have been shocked and confused. As a righteous man, he believed in what was revealed by the angel in the dream and his hope in the Lord’s plan strengthened him to accept Mary. He hoped that God’s plan would be something better, even though what actually happened was beyond his human understanding. Thus, in all moments of difficulty and crises, as a husband to Mary and a father to Jesus, St. Joseph was filled with hope for a better future and lived in that hope every day.
The true strength of St. Joseph was his closeness with the Lord. As we reflect on St. Joseph, besides learning from him the virtue of hope, we should also learn his obedience to the Will of God and how he fulfilled it, as he was instructed there and then. He always exhibited an exemplary life of obedience and trust in God.
During our difficult times, we may be tempted to disobey God’s laws and to mistrust in His plan for us. On all such occasions, let us look up to St. Joseph and seek for his intercession, so that he may protect us just as he protected Mary and Jesus in the Holy Family.
God bless you
Fr. Arul Joseph V.