3 Lessons from St. Joseph Model of Christian Perfection
The Feast of the Solemnity of St. Joseph is celebrated on March 19.
We celebrate it with solemn and joyful thanksgiving for the life of St. Joseph. But his life is not something we should look at off in the distance and not apply to our lives.
St. Joseph is an important figure in the history of the Catholic Church.
He was the protector of the Child Jesus, while Jesus was on earth, and was the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He accepted the role of earthly father of Jesus, and though this role was full of unknowns, he placed himself in God’s hands.
St. Joseph was a descendant of David, and because of his descent, the prophecy in the Old Testament was fulfilled; the Messiah would be a descendant of the line of King David.
The reason St. Joseph’s feast is a Solemnity is because of his vital and important role in the history of the Church.
St. Joseph’s life may not have been glamorous, but because of his humility, he advanced as a model in the Catholic Church. St. Joseph is the official Protector of the Universal Church, like he was the official protector of Jesus and Mary. He plays a huge role in the history, patronage, and function of the Catholic Church.
St. Joseph is the patron of a Happy Death. He died in the arms of Jesus and Mary in a pure and holy state.
He had lived his life for God and had therefore lived his life to the fullest. We should make it a habit to pray to St. Joseph, so at the hour of our death, our souls may be ready to enter Heaven.
St. Joseph is the model of a good and holy spouse and father. As a husband, he treated Mary with utmost dignity, love, and respect. He protected her and kept her safe from harm and distress.
Examples of this would be when he learned Mary was pregnant and was unsure of how that could be. His instinct was to divorce her quietly, so she would not be exposed to shame.
Such was his intent when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him not to be afraid to take his wife Mary into his house because she had conceived a child through the power of the Holy Spirit.
He accepted the message of the angel because his faith in God was strong. He knew, for God, anything was possible. Also, in the midst of hardship, he stuck by Mary’s side.
Examples of this would be when he was searching for lodging for Mary to birth Jesus. He was also by her side as a husband and father when they were searching for Jesus for three days and finally found Him in the Temple.
As the foster father of Jesus, he loved, cared for, and protected Jesus the entirety of his fatherhood.
This is especially evident when he fled to Egypt in response to the message of an angel to save the life of Baby Jesus and to protect Mary. He is the great model of fatherhood in his protection of Jesus and in providing for his family, with Jesus by his side, in the humble work of carpentry.
This feast of St. Joseph, I challenge you to do a couple of things and apply them to your lives.
1. Follow the example of St. Joseph.
He was human, exactly like us, and he became a great saint. What is special about him was his active participation in the lives of Jesus and Mary. His life was holy because he was surrounded by holiness. He was not above following the examples of Jesus and Mary in his life.
It is like looking at the innocence of a little child and wanting to imitate that, even though you are not a child. Nobody is too good for holiness, and we are all called to it, regardless our states in life. You too can surround yourself with Jesus and Mary, like St. Joseph; Mary is the Mother of the Eucharist and the Eucharist is Jesus, whom we receive at every Mass.
2. Don’t despair or get bogged down when you feel life is not going the way it should.
Do you think it was a little stressful when Joseph heard Mary was somehow pregnant and later when he couldn’t find lodging for her to birth Jesus? How about when Jesus was lost as a child for three days in the city or when King Herod was searching for Jesus to murder Him? Though he had a steady job as a carpenter, did it always feel rewarding, was he ever worried he wouldn’t make enough to provide for his family?
The answer to all these questions is Yes; it was stressful, but the difference is How he dealt with these problems. The Source of it All was going to pull him through; he had Faith in that. It was not something he was supposed to do alone, but it was a trust exercise in God that this was bigger than himself that required a Higher Power.
3. The Holy Family is the perfect family, and St. Joseph was the head of it.
Entrust and model your family after the Holy Family. Jesus was homeschooled, and St. Joseph was his first teacher. Dads make a Huge impact in the life and teaching of their children.
I speak from experience. Homeschooling is a journey, not a destination, and it Never ends.
We never stop trying to be holy, which is the goal of a Catholic homeschool education. Families are a unit, and we strive to be a holy family.
Thanks to St. Joseph’s life, example, and patronage, we have a model of Christian Perfection!
St. Joseph Protector and Head of the Holy Family, Pray for Us!
St. Joseph Patron of a Happy Death, Pray for Us!
St. Joseph Model of Husbands and Fathers, Pray for Us!
About Jacinta Hamilton
Jacinta Hamilton is a senior in high school and lifelong Seton homeschooler. She is the oldest of seven kids in her family, five girls and two boys. When she’s not taking online tests or writing book reports, Jacinta enjoys taking ballet classes, playing euphonium in band, going to Iowa football games, playing basketball in the backyard with her brothers, and baking with her sisters.
Jacinta is involved in Best Buddies, which is an organization that pairs kids with special needs with their peers and makes them feel included in schools. She also enjoys being involved in her parish by volunteering at Vacation Bible School, baking casseroles for the local crisis center, and writing a monthly “Lives of the Saints” article for the Parish Teen Newsletter. Jacinta really enjoys writing about the Catholic Faith and sharing the positivity of homeschooling!