Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My 2014 Patrons Feast Day -- St. Joseph

Today is the feast day of my patron for 2014. As the "step-dad" of Jesus, his was a unique choice for me this year. To be certain, St. Joseph actually has TWO feast days but I tend to lean towards this one focusing more on the fatherly aspect.
Jesus and Joseph in the workshop

Having chosen Saint Joseph, I was aligning myself with him on several levels. Firstly, as a step-father to four children, I understand and know that relationship he must have shared with Jesus. It's an oddly weird place to be. You are provider, and male role-model but there's an odd sort of detachment as well. Sure the kids love and expect you to be there, but it's likely that the real feelings will never be know (at least while you are living). It's a limbo that you come to accept. I didn't become step-dad for that accolade, but more inspite of.

Next you have the birth of my daughter. To her I'm dad (or will be she is only a few months old). As Jesus was all human and all God, I'd be willing to guess that he felt a great attraction to his earthly father as well. Can you imagine what it must have been in Joseph's carpentry shop when he was teaching Jesus? Did Jesus learn this way or did he already know and just allow the process to unfold? It's an interesting series that I've thought about from time to time. Certainly, I've related to that when most of my kids have come to me having already been "taught". Thankfully they have humored their stepdad from time to time. God gifted us with my own offspring so I can screw that up all on my own.

Lastly, with St. Joseph as my 2014 patron saint, I've tried to live up to the "upright" portion of Joseph's character. Being a good, loving, self-less, father figure to all of my children much less those I meet on the street. Thus by doing so I've also captured what I believe Pope Francis was trying to get us to become -- outward beacons of inward love and joy.

So today, as we celebrate the step-dad of Jesus, those of us that happen to be lucky enough to be step-fathers and fathers take a minute to think about St. Joseph and how he lived and accepted things that certainly could have turned out much different. Think about how, by accepting your own step-father status, how you have come to accept a great responsibility from God as well. Be a father to all your children, birthed and prefab.

Let us pray:

Oh St. Joseph, 
whose protection is so great, 
so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, 
I place in you all my interests and desires.

Oh St. Joseph, 

do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your divine son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, our Lord; 
so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh St. Joseph, 

I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. 
I dare not approach while he reposes near your heart. 
Press Him in my name and kiss his fine head for me, and ask him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. 
St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us.