© Agnes Sam 2019
What of Joseph?
What are Joseph’s achievements?
Is Joseph a king or is he the son of a king?
The New Testament authors will present us with Joseph’s descent from King David once he is accepted as the husband of the Virgin Mary.
Until then we may continue to search for Joseph’s uniqueness that make him acceptable as the earthly father of Jesus. Who but God knows that Joseph will become the earthly father of Jesus?
How long has Joseph been searching for some one who will accept him as a husband for their virgin daughter?
Is Joseph considered arrogant by men wealthier than he is because he stands with them in their search for a virgin wife?
Is Joseph a hypocrite?
Does Joseph want to marry a virgin, but is himself a man who leads wanton life?
Joseph is not described as having given food to the poor; he has neither slain a lion nor tamed one. He has not returned his inheritance to his father and lived the life of a recluse; if he has, why does he intend marrying a virgin?
Joseph has neither become a monk nor started a religious order of monks; nor has he abandoned a wanton life like St Augustine. There are no miracles attributed to him. Nothing outstanding that the authors of the New Testament might sing his praises; or an angel hail him as pleasing in the sight of the Lord.
Therefore Joseph has led an unremarkable life.
There is nothing to report about Joseph’s life before he presents himself as a possible husband for the Virgin Mary whom the angel will declare is ‘full of grace’ and that the ‘Lord is with you’.
How many times has Joseph come forward, made a proposal and been rejected?
Many men live by the double standard of wanting a virgin bride but not being good men themselves. Is Joseph such a man?
Is the dowry Joseph offers equal to those of other men who propose to marry virgins such as Mary? Is Joseph considered arrogant when he has little to offer in the form of a dowry?
Is what Joseph brings to the father of Mary a wooden box he has perhaps crafted with his hands containing two white doves?
And then why has God chosen Joseph to be the earthly father of Jesus? What distinguishes Joseph from other men who have come forward to marry the Virgin Mary?
It is the virtue of humility that distinguishes Joseph from other men. Joseph’s humility and his poverty separates him from other men.
Therefore, we question what Joseph and the Virgin Mary have in common with each other that God will reveal His hand in their lives?
Both believe in God.
Their belief is raised higher.
Both Trust in God.
Their trust is raised to a higher level.
Both do not doubt the existence of God.
Both love God.
Both have faith in God.
Both have humility at the presence of God in their lives.
Both do not question God’s intentions.
These are the virtues that Joseph and Mary share. Nevertheless neither Joseph nor Mary know this when Joseph comes forward to ask to marry Mary.
The prospective husbands do not see Mary. The women see the men cloistered from behind curtains and veils.
Mary’s father will appraise the dowries each proposer is offering for his virgin daughter.
But Joseph is a carpenter. His expectations cannot but be low. There is no sign that he will be acceptable to Mary’s father.
Yet something has motivated Joseph to propose to marry Mary. We do not know what motivated him. Nor do we know how God will reveal his hand in both the lives of Joseph and Mary.
Did Joseph receive a message in a dream that precedes the messages in Joseph’s dreams that we know of?
We know that when Joseph stands before the father of the Virgin Mary that his staff displays a host of white lilies that bear his name: St Joseph’s Lilies.
This is the manner in which God displays his hand in the life of Joseph. That Joseph will become the earthly father of Jesus. The pure white lilies on this humble man Joseph’s staff.
St Joseph is known to us as ‘The most beloved of all fathers.’