Our Gospel reading invites us to understand how Joseph was indeed “an upright man” and a model husband. In our times this bears great significance in the midst of so many marriage-breakups.
The husband or father is usually considered the head of the family. As head of the family, he makes major decisions for the family: In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he urges wives “to submit to their husbands, as to the Lord” (Eph 5:22) Paul also urges husbands “to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph 5: 25)
Finding Mary with child before they lived together, Joseph considered divorcing her secretly to protect her. An angel of the Lord assured Joseph that Mary was with child by the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph showed his true love for Mary, giving up his own will, and followed the angel’s message and agreed to be husband of Mary and foster father of Jesus and head of the Holy Family.
This difficult act of surrender to show true love is often lacking and causes the break-up of many families.
Through the example and intercession of St. Joseph, may husbands learn true love for their wives and wives for their husbands. And may we also learn true love for God and our neighbor.