Like many good ideas of mine, this one is languishing due to my lack of attention. But I did want to go back for St. Joseph, whose feast day was yesterday.
Actually, I guess he has two feast days. This week we remember him for his role in raising the young Jesus; in May he is recognized as Joseph the Worker, whose example of good and useful labor underscores how our work is really God's work in the world.
Sadly, Joseph hardly even ranks one feast day in my tradition...he just gets no respect around here. Even though his courage in responding to God's call in a radical way -- trusting God's message to not abandon his pregnant fiancee, which also put him in a socially precarious position and no doubt, as the neighbors started doing the gestational math, caused community tongues to wag about his "righteousness lapse" -- makes his actions an example of what Dietrich Bonhoeffer would call the cost of discipleship.
And Joseph also reminds me of the dads and grandpas and uncles and other caring men I know who are not afraid to hold and hug and comfort little kids, who are not too macho to carry diaper bags and binkies, who willingly spend quality time with kids, who co-parent in ways that their own fathers and grandfathers may have never imagined.
O God, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Postscript: Evidently the link I provided to Bridge Building Images took the viewer...erm...somewhere else, somewhere else not nice...when my life returns to normal this will be funny, but until then, if you're interested in Bridge Building Images, you're on your own; Google it.
Nancy Oliphant, "St Joseph of Nazareth," Bridge Building Images s