Date: March 19
Lectionary Link: https://www.lectionarypage.net/YearABC/HolyDays/Joseph.html
Contributor: Jennifer Wright
Several of today’s lections focus on David. David is a fascinating character. He was: the grandson of Ruth; the ancestor of Jesus; a handsome shepherd boy; a slight, courageous youth who challenged and defeated a mighty soldier; a talented musician; soother of a mad king’s frenzy; a devoted friend; an exile who was not above charging “protection money” for his armed gang’s services; a loving husband; a great and mighty king; an exuberant dancer; a loving father; and definitely a sinner. But above all, David was a person who loved the Lord with all his heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. He made mistakes and fell to temptation, but he was always able to recognize his sin, repent, and return to the way of the Lord. Out of the pages of the Old Testament comes a character that I would love to meet and know – someone who seems a vividly real person, flawed and imperfect, but full of life and Spirit.
Today is the feast of St. Joseph, another person who seems very real to me. He was engaged to a very young woman, found that she was pregnant with someone else’s baby, and wished to protect her from the serious punishment that her presumed adultery would inflict. God then sent an angel to tell him that Mary’s child was the son of the Most High, and Joseph believed it, accepted this cuckoo in his nest as his own, and raised Jesus with great love. Jesus learned about being a human man from Joseph, and what a good example he must have been.
I also imagine how beside himself with worry Joseph must have been when twelve-year-old Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, and how angry he must have felt when he finally found him in the temple after being missing for FIVE DAYS (a day’s journey out, a day’s journey back to Jerusalem, and three days searching!). We have all experienced that reflexive and overpowering anger that seems to flow automatically when great fear for a loved one’s safety is relieved. But Joseph didn’t reproach Jesus, just took him home and continued to love him. What a great Dad!
The Bible gives us so many examples of real people, who suffered and rejoiced, and made mistakes, and loved greatly. Let’s try to follow their examples in our own lives.