The Church has just concluded the Year of Joseph on December 8, 2021. This is an opportunity for us to reflect on the life and virtues of St. Joseph. As a consecrated person, I think that St. Joseph is a model for those in consecrated life.
First of all, St. Joseph is a perfect model of obedience. The entire life of St. Joseph visualizes his faithfulness and obedience to God’s will. When the angel told Joseph that Mary has conceived a child by the Holy Spirit and told him to take her into his home, he obeyed. When the angel instructed him in a dream to lead Mary and Jesus to Egypt to escape Herod, he also obeyed. In Egypt, when the angel appeared to him and told him to take the Holy Family back to Israel, he did as he was instructed to do. St. Joseph did not protest or tried to change God’s plan. He acted without a question. He just simply obeyed. As consecrated persons, we are called to follow St. Joseph’s example in seeking and obeying God’s will. The will of God is revealed through our formators, our superiors, the rule of life, and through our experiences amidst different situations.
Secondly, St. Joseph is a strong model of humility. As we know that St. Joseph is one of the greatest saints of the Church. Although he played an important role in salvation history, we never hear any word from the lips of St Joseph in the Gospels. He did everything in silence. He never thought too highly of himself. St. Joseph was willing to sacrifice everything for his family. Mary and Jesus meant everything to him. As religious, we are also invited to imitate the virtue of humility in fulfilling God’s will. We follow Jesus not to seek our glory, but to serve God and his people.
Thirdly, St. Joseph is a wonderful model of service. He was a man who completely served God and sacrificed himself wholeheartedly for his family. He never complained, even though he had to experience many hardships to protect Mary and Jesus. As consecrated persons, we are called to become the servant of all, especially to the vulnerable people in our society.
Let us learn from St. Joseph the ways of holiness, humility, obedience, generous sacrifice, and service. May he also accompany us in our vocation journey.
Sch. Peter Pham Thanh Tam CSSp