Joseph’s Yes – Br. Luke Ditewig

Br. Luke Ditewig

St. Joseph

Luke 2:41-52

We frequently remember Mary for saying “yes” to God’s invitation. Joseph also said “yes” though none of his words are recorded in scripture. His life is his word. Joseph’s actions speak loudly.

Joseph was a righteous man. Quiet Joseph resolved to do the right thing, to dismiss Mary quietly, to save her from disgrace. Then God told Joseph to do something different, to take Mary as his wife and name their child Jesus.  Joseph listened and followed.

The righteous are attentive to listen, with a detachment and freedom to change their ideas—even, especially, of what they understand to be right—and being righteous means action, doing God’s will. Through the gospels, Jesus continually confronts those who cling tight to what they sense is right including who to eat with and how to worship.

When God spoke, Joseph listened and changed his plans. He took Mary as his wife. Later God told him to flee to Egypt with his family, and Joseph did. Further on, God told him to return to Galilee, and Joseph did.

Children surprise, challenge, and expand our sense of what is right. They rely on us, cry a little or a lot for help. They ask countless questions. Children push parents to reconsider what is normal, right, expected in terms of sleep, answers, possibilities, give and take, relationship, giving and receiving love.

Jesus grew from an infant to a toddler to child to a teenager, a teenager who stayed behind in the temple causing Joseph and Mary to search anxiously for three days. Jesus was human in causing astonishment, amazement, anxiety and more in this story as well as before and after. As a parent, Joseph lived an ongoing yes to God.

To love and to love a child is to keep saying yes. Yes to being, doing, and giving more and differently than we expected. God comes, including through our children, families, neighbors, and more challenging our good, limited sense of what is right.

What are you expecting from God? Don’t cling too tight. Listen and look for surprises, invitations which will stretch you to something more. We need not be afraid.  God is good and saving. Our actions speak loudly. Like Joseph, may we keep growing, keep living our yes.

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