Imagine that God appeared to you and said, “Pack up your belongings, leave your home, your extended family, and your job. I want you to settle down in a new place—which I will show you later.” What would you do? Abraham did just as God told him. And it was because of this and other similar incidents in his life that God called Abraham a righteous man, or a person of faith (Romans 4:3).
David, the simple shepherd who became Israel’s greatest king, is also remembered as a man of faith. And this is very encouraging, because David was far from perfect. An adulterer and a conspirator in the murder of an innocent man, David had his moments of deep darkness and rebellion against God. But whenever he was brought back to his senses, David was also quick to humble himself and confess his sins. It was this openness of heart—this faithfulness despite his weaknesses—that enabled him to receive God’s forgiveness and blessing over and over again.
St. Joseph, whose feast we celebrate today, was the last in a long line of Old Testament heroes and heroines who trace their spiritual roots to the radical faith of Abraham and David. When Mary was found to be with child, Joseph decided to divorce her quietly, not shaming her publicly and minimizing his own disgrace. But when the angel told him to accept Mary and the divine baby she was carrying, Joseph took the far more difficult path of obedience and faith. A true son of Abraham, Joseph placed his complete trust in God and was rewarded greatly for it.
These faithful heroes of the Bible were blessed by God to be members of Jesus’ family tree. Now that Jesus has come, each of us can be grafted onto that tree by our own acts of faith. Are you involved in a situation right now that seems to have no solution? Is God calling you to greater service, or deeper trust and obedience? Don’t give up the fight of faith! Don’t let the world reduce your vision! Remember St. Joseph and hold fast to God’s promises even in the face of incredible odds.
“Father, fill me with the faith of Abraham and Joseph. Move me to repentance as you moved King David. Teach me, Father, to hear your voice and obey you in all things.”
meditation: The Word Among Us
image: The Nativity Story