The Quiet Witness of St. Joseph

(Artwork by Raúl Berzosa)

by Brandon Ocampo

Happy Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Many things have been written and said about the foster father of Jesus, especially considering the fact that we celebrated a whole year dedicated to him in 2021. However, there is one big takeaway from his quiet life:

Actions speak louder than words.

This isn’t to say that words are not important! But there is a special weight to the witness of someone who walks the walk and talks the talk—someone who does live out what they believe and preach. Even in youth ministry, teens are more likely to pay attention to someone who inspires them by the way they live than by someone who just talks about stuff.

As you may know, we have no record of anything said by St. Joseph. But we do have a record of what he did. Already in the first chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, we read that he was a just man (Matthew 1:19). To be just means he lived up to his reputation. He not only knew what the right thing was, he did it.

He listened to the voice and direction of God.

He loved and cared for Mary, his bride.

He protected and raised Jesus, who was put under his care.

St. Joseph found himself in an unexpected situation. When many would falter and give up out of fear, St. Joseph persisted. He did all he could to not only follow God’s will, but to ensure the safety and protection of his beloved and of the Son of God. He provided for them, not only in their time of need, but in their ordinary everyday life.

As we celebrate this lovely Solemnity, I invite you to pray for St. Joseph’s powerful intercession in your own life and ministry. Ask him to help you walk more justly and to love even when it seems impossible. After all, the quiet and loving witness of St. Joseph is not just something to behold and ponder but a reality to imitate and live out.