Re: Daily Devotional; formerly Chaplains Corner
Today, our Catholic friends celebrate the Solemnity of Joseph. Little is known about Joseph, the step-father of Jesus. He was probably a relatively old man when Jesus was born, since he does not appear in the gospels during Jesus' ministry. we do know from the Scriptures that Joseph was a carpenter by trade, and a descendent of the Old Testament King David. We also know that Joseph was betrothed to a virgin named Mary, and when she became pregnant without sexual intercourse with him, he intended to divorce her secretly. When an angel appeared to him in a dream telling him that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit, and that Joseph should take her as his wife and name the child Jesus, Joseph obeyed.
Various legends have grown-up about St. Joseph, and while non-canonical, and historically suspect, they are interesting. One legend suggests that the high-priest Zechariah told Mary that he was instructed in a revelation to bring together marriageable men and have each man leave his staff in the temple overnight. The husband chosen by God would be revealed through a sign. In the morning, Joseph the Carpenter's staff blossomed, while the other suitors' staffs did not. This was a sign that Mary was to marry Joseph.
St. Joseph is a model of humility and holiness, and is a model for fathers everywhere. He cared for the Son of God, despite Jesus not being his own biological Son. His devotion to Mary, despite his suspicions of her infidelity, and his willingness to listen to the angel of God, demonstrate his humility.
St. Joseph is a popular patron saint. He is the patron saint of the universal Church, a happy death, workers, carpenters, expecting mothers, families, and more.
Many traditions and customs have developed around St. Joseph and his feast day. March 19th has been a traditional Italian day to show hospitality. On this day, all who come to the door are invited to dinner. The family table is extended full-length, moved against the wall (like the Church altar), and a statue of St. Joseph surrounded by flowers and candles is made the centerpiece. After the guests have enjoyed the bounteous feast, the guests leave so other guests may enter.
Reading about that makes me wish I were Italian instead of Irish.
May God bless each one of you, guys -
Christ told me to arm myself. If you want me disarmed - - Molon Labe.