St. Joseph is a very holy example who, in my opinion, often doesn’t get enough attention. His role in Jesus’ life remained largely in the background, keeping the spotlight on Jesus and Mary. That was his mission, and he did it very well.
But, once in a while, it’s good to turn the spotlight to St. Joseph for a while and realize how important he really was. Joseph might not have been the Son of God, nor was he even conceived immaculately, like Mary was, but that doesn’t make him an accessory, or half-member of the Holy Family. St. Joseph was a full player. Just like Mary, St. Joseph had to say “yes” to God’s plan, and he had to say yes without fully understanding everything or knowing how it would work. He had to say “yes” to things that went completely against the grain in his culture, like taking Mary as his wife after she had already conceived Jesus. He had to TRUST in God’s plan.
He also, as the Father, had to LEAD. He didn’t take a back burner because he wasn’t perfect. When the infant Jesus was in danger from King Herod, the Lord spoke to Joseph in a dream. Later, when it was safe to return, the Lord spoke to Joseph again. And both times, Joseph heard what the Lord told him, and led the Holy Family to safety.
Basically, St. Joseph had everything not only a good father, but any sort of leader should have:
- He dedicated his whole life to caring for what he loved.
- He was able to listen to others.
- He was able to discern whether something was inspired or not.
- He knew who to trust.
- He was humble and played a key role without calling attention to himself.
So, let’s celebrate St. Joseph, and teach our kids what an awesome foster-father Jesus had!
1. Start a novena to St. Joseph nine days before March 19.
2. Make a “little helper” tool box or belt. You can use toy tools, or cut-outs from construction paper. Label each tool with values and virtues you think are important for living a good Christian life, based on the example of St. Joseph.
3. Are you handy with tools? If so, make something simple (small table, bookshelf, box…) in honor of St. Joseph. Remember to pray to him whenever you look at it, or, alternatively, give it away to someone in need!
4. Make and decorate a cake in honor of St. Joseph. Alternatively, make and decorate sugar cookies in the shape of lilies or tools.
5. Make a collage or coat of arms that you think reflects St. Joseph, and talk about the images/symbols you include.
6. Make a centerpiece of paper lilies to decorate the table for St. Joseph’s day.
7. Talk about the meaning of righteousness. The Bible calls very few men “just” or “righteous”. St. Joseph, Job and Noah are all called righteous, or just. What do they have in common? What do you think it means to be a righteous person?
8. What do you see in your own father that reminds you of St. Joseph? Write a letter to your dad telling him what you admire in him. Prepare a special meal or activity for him.
9. Write the story of the birth of Jesus from St. Joseph’s perspective.
Wishing you all a blessed feast of St. Joseph on March 19!
Looking for St. Patrick’s Day activities?