44 Days of St. Joseph – Cornerstone of Families

The family is the cell of society. This is to say that the family is the initial and fundamental basis of our social nature. Our social nature, in turn, is a carrier of our divine destiny: unity and communion with God. Therefore, the family can be rightly called, as John Paul II called it, the school of love.

What makes for a strong family, then? Where can one find concrete examples of the virtues or gifts that bolster such a fundamental institution? Where can we see what is fundamental to what is fundamental?

These, it seems, are questions worth asking while contemplating the life and actions of St. Joseph.

With St. Joseph, we see, first of all, availability to family. Much is made of his willingness and obedience, but his entire role in the Gospel story is to be in service of the Holy Family. In Joseph we see the father’s availability to the Mother and Child, the willingness to be the supporting role, the provider, the sustainer, the servant. He is something of a background player, but the background player who enables the main actors to perform.

Like the God the Father, who is revealed in the Son, Joseph the father is seen as father in the revelation of his family. Fatherhood is generation, and in that generation, is service. In Joseph, we see that fatherhood is love in the form of service.

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