March 13 Pope Francis was elected and May 1 the name of St. Joseph was added to the Eucharistic Prayers.
Today is ever so slightly longer, the light is coming back. And on this last Sunday of Advent the Church turns our attention to the role of Joseph.
It is so easy for us to devalue the sacrifice that Joseph made for Jesus. We focus on the angel and we forget that St. Matthew tells us that it was a a dream. No angel showed up glowing in his bedroom like the movies.
Based on a dream St. Joseph sacrificed is reputation, his manhood, according to his culture, to care for a woman and a child that was not his.
We should not kid ourselves, people back then could do baby math as well as today. Do you think that people in the village didn't talk about the two of them? And if he told any of his friends and family about the dreams, how many thought he was crazy?
What happened to him? We have no idea. He disappears as most of us will into the mists of history. There are legends and not much else.
Today, before we get focused on baby Jesus, Mary, wise men, and shepherds. The Church reminds us of St. Joseph, the model of courage, the man who knew the truth. Even if no one would believe him, he was willing to sacrifice his good name, and the normal relationship of husband and wife. He sacrificed it all, out of a singled-minded desire to do God's will.