SOLEMNITY OF SAINT JOSEPH
Daily readings are available here.
Behold, a faithful and prudent steward, whom the Lord set over his household.
The genealogies of Jesus at the beginning of Matthew’s and Luke’s gospel are not meant as contributions to the research of ancestry. Rather they provide a theological statement about Jesus and the purpose of the history of Israel. Jesus is Christ, the Messiah and it is his story that underlies and moves forward all the generations following each other. He was promised since Abraham and David, and the history of Israel has reached its completion in him. Now, further journey of Israel and of the nations will be taking a decisive turn.
The annunciation of the birth of Jesus in Matthew is cast from the perspective: God is with us (Matt 1:23). The evangelist quotes from Isa 7:14, presenting the mystery of incarnation as a moment when God creates and saves.
Josep, described as a righteous man, gets to share in the work of God. Unlike Ahaz (Isa 7:12), Joseph takes the sign as a commission from God. He becomes the legal father of Jesus and gives him the name Jesus, which means the Lord saves. Even without full understanding, he identifies with God’s cause and opens the door through which God enters into the world.
Human history turns in these seemingly insignificant situations and thanks to people who may not fully understand the impact of the moment. Yet, a righteous person opens one more door for Christ.