The great old stories from the scriptures have a way of speaking to us today, if we hear them right. Tomorrow’s gospel from Matthew is about the announcement of Jesus’ birth made by an angel to Joseph.
Joseph is ready to divorce Mary who is mysteriously pregnant, but prompted by the angel he takes her into his home and raises her Child as his own. Anything like that going on today?
How about all the blended families we meet now, where divorce or death have created other groupings not based on original marriage vows or blood relaltionships? The holidays will bring many of them together. Stepfathers and stepmothers, stepchildren. Some of these families have known divorce, maybe once, or twice or three times. There are kids and relatives from family number one, number two, number three.
Joseph loved Jesus and Mary with a love, not based on flesh and blood, a love that made him father, husband, and all the other relationships that blood or vows are supposed to bring. He showed us that love is what counts after all.
Later on, Jesus said in Capernaum, when they announced that his family were outside waiting to see him: “Who are my mother and my brothers? “ He was proclaiming a love higher than that based on flesh and blood. He saw it in Joseph.
How about naming Joseph, Patron of Blended Families?