Christmas is a wonderful time to reflect on life as we approach a new calendar year. I have certainly had an eventful year with many joys and sorrows along the way. But what moved me to write today was not to reflect on my own life, but to reflect on the Christmas Story.
Joseph was obviously a morally upright man. God would not have chosen another to be the earthly father of His Son. Joseph did not want to hurt Mary when he heard of her pregnancy. He was going to divorce her quietly without accusation of adultery to try to prevent her from being stoned to death. But when the Angel spoke to him and confirmed Mary’s story that she indeed was still a virgin and the baby was from the Holy Spirit, he chose to tarnish his own reputation to claim the child as his own.
Joseph and Mary must have felt a little relief when they needed to travel to Bethlehem for the census. They could leave the dirty looks and whispered conversations of Nazareth behind to travel where nobody would know that they has not fulfilled the year long requirement of betrothal. They could just go and be a family, whatever that meant for their unique situation, without enduring any longer the scorn of their neighbors.
They made mistakes, I’m sure. Like any other mortal men. But they had a sure gift of faith to be trusted with caring for the Son of God. Jesus. And for that they are worthy of our remembrance.