As a father of only a few years duration, I have developed an especial affection for St. Joseph, who always intrigued me given the short shrift he gets in the Gospels. And that leads to such odd devotions as burying him upside down in lawns to help sell you house. (Hey, in this market, who could blame you?)
Christmas is pretty much it for Joseph, and my friend and saints maven Jim Martin, SJ, (“My Life with the Saints”) has a typically perceptive take on the Old Man of the Nativity narrative, just in time for this evening’s pageants and liturgies.
It’s at Slate.com, and titled, “The Hidden Man of Christmas: Putting St. Joseph back in the picture.” Check it out–a sample:
Many Christmas cards show just Mary and Jesus. And how many carols even mention Joseph? He is at the Nativity scene and in American Christmas traditions. That’s a loss since Joseph can be a powerful figure not only for fathers but also for the average believer.
Perhaps one problem for the church is related to a story a friend told me about her daughter asking questions at CCD class, along the lines of: “Well, if Joseph is Jesus’s daddy, then Joseph must be God.” Explain that to a six-year-old…If any can, it’s Father Martin. Check it out.