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St. Joseph the Worker

Updated: May 2

Today, we celebrate St. Joseph, the silent saint in Scripture who is not quoted once in the New Testament. He served humbly and honorably as Jesus' stepfather. Joseph was afraid at first and wanted to leave the scene by quietly ending his engagement with Mary when he found out she was going to have a baby. The angel Gabriel assured Joseph that all was well and Mary had been called to be the Mother of God through the Holy Spirit. Joseph listened to God, remained with Mary, and raised Jesus as his son. What a beautiful tribute this is to the many fathers, stepfathers, and father-like figures who help raise children today.

My father was also a stepfather although I would never have known when I was a child. There were seven of us and I always knew them as my full brothers and sisters. We loved each other just the same and I believe my father had so much love for my mother that he loved her children as his own. Not until I grew older did I become aware that my uncles who lived with us from time to time, were not my uncles by blood at all. They were uncles of my four older siblings. I think now, how beautiful that was to have so many uncles and aunts who I could love as my own.

I can imagine Joseph's love for Mary and for God being so great to overcome his initial apprehension because I also saw this love first-hand in my own home. I truly felt the love of my brothers, sisters, and their uncles just as I felt the love of my uncles on my father's and mother's side. After dad died very young, the uncles and aunts were always there to lend a helping hand, to provide our basic needs, to help us fill in the gaps left after the death of our father. Today, I know this was all part of God's plan; to place all these wingless angels in our lives to care for us. God's divine intervention assured us "don't be afraid, you are not alone." This is the same message God sent with Gabriel the angel to Mary, "do not be afraid." Mary placed her unwavering faith in God, and said "yes." Thank God our Blessed Mother said "yes" to God.

My father served many years as a baker. St. Joseph worked as carpenter and because St. Joseph served as a laborer, we honor all the workers today on May 1st. Today, I thank St. Joseph for staying and not walking away, and working hard to provide for his family and I thank all the workers I encounter each day who share or apply their talents to serve and provide for others.

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