Pathways through Lent

Weekday reflections from St. John’s in the season of Lent.

Monday in the Fifth Week of Lent: March 18, 2024

Tomorrow will be the Feast of St. Joseph, the father of Jesus Christ. We all know that Joseph is Jesus’ father; but because of the Incarnation, it’s complicated. In scripture, Jesus often refers to his father, but when he does, it is never Joseph. The difference between Father and father is unambiguous. With the Bible utilizing various patristic themes, Joseph’s role can seem to be at times diminished. Exploring the patriarchy of this time, it’s surprising that Joseph was never revered as Mary was. It’s unimaginable how he must have felt in knowing his wife would bear a child that he did not provide.

However, Mary carried, delivered, and cared for her son. She is seen more often in our texts and is present at the crucifixion.

We do not get much information about Joseph outside of the Gospel of Matthew and before the birth of Jesus. We know that he is descended from the house of David. He is a carpenter, so his trade would have been valuable. In addition, we know that an angel came to him to convince him to stay with Mary and to flee with the family for safety.

Joseph is a definite anchor to Jesus’ humanity. This is confirmed to us through genealogy, prophecy, and covenant. I want to believe that Joseph was a person who was more reserved, someone who let his actions speak more than his words. As Jesus grew up, you can imagine him traveling along with Joseph as he worked either to fix or create for others. I think Jesus learned much from Joseph regarding patience, service, and relationships. Joseph is celebrated for being a father and, most importantly, for his obedience and trust in God.

Shawn Evelyn
Associate for Parish Life

Links to the appointed readings for today