A life he never thought he’d be living

St. Joseph is one of those saints who has slowly worked his way into my heart.  He’s not a flashy saint; he doesn’t have an action-packed story, like Joan of Arc or St. Michael.  He didn’t suffer a gruesome and memorable martyrdom like St. Agnes or St. Stephen.  He was just a guy trying to live his life and raise his family.

Except, of course, that his son was the Son of God, and his wife was told by a heavenly messenger that she’d been chosen to be the mother of the Savior.  That family must have been, shall we say, a bit intimidating.  Did St. Joseph ever feel like he wasn’t up to the task?  Did he ever feel like he wasn’t as holy as his wife and foster child?

He was human, St. Joseph, so perhaps he did.  I think it’s a mistake to think that the saints never doubted themselves.  In St. Joseph’s case, it’s all the more poignant because he never planned this life for himself.  He was just going about his business one day, and then he learns that the woman he is betrothed to is pregnant. To top that, he learns that her child is the Son of God, and that he’s to be the father figure that this God will look up to here on earth.

A big job, that.

I guess, in the end, what I really love about St. Joseph is the way that he went with the flow.  In the space of a dream, his life is suddenly radically different from the life he always thought he’d be living.  There was a lot that he let go of, I’m sure, in taking on this family.  There were probably plans and hopes and expectations for the future that fell by the wayside.

That can happen to all of us, really.  There are so many curveballs, good and bad, that are thrown at us in this game of life.  We may think we’ve got it all carefully planned, but sometimes, we find ourself on a course that astonishes us; that scares us, even.  We don’t quite know how it will all end, so we just take it one day at a time, giving life our best shot, going on hope and trust.

Much like St. Joseph.

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