St. Joseph, Guardian of Jesus

Today's Reading: Matthew 2:13-15; 19-23

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 29:1-30; Mark 9:14-32

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him." (Matthew 2;13)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. (St. Joseph's Day is March 19; we observe it today in our Reflections.) God cares for you through means. Even His own Son didn't escape from Herod with God-powers and disappear or something like that. The Lord worked through Jesus' Guardian Joseph, Mary's husband, to gather up mother and child and get them away from Bethlehem before Herod could have Him killed.

The Lord works this way all over the place, accomplishing His will through the actions of human beings. Think about it: when you need something, it doesn't just fall from the sky. Your parents provide it, you work and save enough to buy it, or maybe someone else works to provide it for you as a gift. The point is that God works through means, through people.

In the case of Joseph, however, the Lord is working good for you, too. Jesus did indeed come into this world to die, but not at the hands of King Herod's soldiers. He came to live your life perfectly and to die. But He came to die, lifted up on the cross for the whole world, as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. In order that this salvation might happen as He willed it, the Lord has Joseph care for Jesus and Mary and get them to safety.

We don't know much about Joseph other than these few events in which the Lord used Him to care for Jesus. Still, he is an example to us of the life of faith. Baptized and forgiven in Christ, we live our lives in service to our neighbor. The Lord works through you to do good to and care for others. This is the life we have because little Jesus was able to grow up to die and rise again. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

We sing our thanks for Joseph, The guardian of our Lord, Who faithfully taught Jesus Through craft and deed and word. Grant wisdom, Lord, and patience To parents ev'rywhere Who guide and teach the children entrusted to their care. (By All Your Saints in Warfare, LSB 517:14)

This reflection is available as an mp3, click here to download and listen to it.