Day Four: Faithful Servant
Saint Joseph, you lived for one purpose — to be the personal servant of Jesus Christ, the word made flesh. Your noble birth and ancestry, the graces and gifts, so generously poured out on you by God — all this was yours to serve our Lord better. Every thought, word, and action of yours was a homage to the love and glory of the incarnate word. You fulfilled most faithfully the role of a good and faithful servant who cared for the house of God.
How perfect was your obedience! Your position in the Holy Family obliged you to command, but besides being the foster-father of Jesus, you were also his disciple. For almost thirty years, you watched the God-man display a simple and prompt obedience, and you grew to love and practice it very perfectly yourself. Without exception you submitted to God, to the civil rulers, and to the voice of your conscience.
God sent an angel to tell you to care for Mary and you obeyed in spite of the mystery which surrounded her motherhood. When you were told to flee into Egypt under painful conditions, you obeyed without the slightest word of complaint. God advised you in a dream to return to Nazareth and you obeyed. In every situation your obedience was as simple as your faith, as humble as your heart, as prompt as your love. It neglected nothing; it took in every command.
You had the virtue of perfect devoutness, which marks a good servant. Every moment of your life was consecrated to the service of our Lord: sleep, rest, work, pain. Faithful to your duties, you sacrificed everything unselfishly, even cheerfully. You would have sacrificed even the happiness of being with Mary. The rest and quiet of Nazareth was sacrificed at the call of duty. Your entire life was one generous giving, even to the point of being ready to die in proof of your love for Jesus and Mary. With true unselfish devoutness you worked without praise or reward.
But God wanted you to be in a certain sense a cooperator in the redemption of the world. He confided to you the care of nourishing and defending the divine child. He wanted you to be poor and to suffer because He destined you to be the foster-father of his son, who came into the world to save men by his sufferings and death, and you were to share in his suffering. In all of these important tasks, the heavenly father always found you a faithful servant!
Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being God’s faithful servant. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to be a faithful servant of God as you were. Help me to share, as you did, the perfect obedience of Jesus, who came not to do his will, but the will of his father; to trust in the providence of God, knowing that if I do his will, he will provide for all my needs of soul and body; to be calm in my trials and to leave it to our Lord to free me from them when it pleases him to do so. And help me to imitate your generosity, for there can be no greater reward here on earth than the joy and honor of being a faithful servant of God.
Saint Joseph… Pray for us.