Tonite I went to Vespers at St. Raymond’s here in Menlo. I don’t usually go to stuff like that, especially at night, but I went any way, after all it is the feast day of Joseph the original member of the carpenter’s union and a stand-up guy. I arrived a little late because one of my young students at the language school called just as I was leaving and said he had fallen off his bike and could I go get him. I did. He was fine, his bike, though was pretty banged up. I asked him if he needed a doctor and he told me no. So I threw his bike in the back of my car and drove him home. He was a little embarrassed and trying to use his new found English language was grateful that I was home and answered his call. Be that it may, I did manage to get to almost the beginning of the service and I got to thinking about old Joseph and what it must have been like for him to know that the woman he was going to marry was pregnant. Here is the quote from Matthew:
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame, (Matthew 16)
Righteous man indeed! He must have been “hella” disappointed. I would be for sure, but he presumed good will on Mary’s explanation and that was good enough for him. He respected what his bride-to-be was called to do (strange as it must have seemed to him) and married her anyway. He became the foster father to a son that wasn’t his, but saw the greater picture that did include him, but not in the way he imagined. He was called to do an extraordinary thing, and although the scriptures don’t mention it, I can imagine his love for the son of his wife knew no bounds. There must have been dark days of confusion, anger and the like when he first found out. He would have been in his right to break the engagement and walk away. But he didn’t. He took on the burden of fatherhood with grace and with responsibility. He respected Mary. Would that politicians would have as much respect for women that Joseph had. Joe’s OK in my book…
and so it goes…