A Reflection on St. Joseph by Linda Fusco, SSJ
As I reflect on St. Joseph, I came to see how he accepted the unexpected. First, he was betrothed to Mary and the unexpected happened. He finds out that she is pregnant with a child that is not his. After Joseph is visited by an angel in his dreams, he accepts Mary as his wife. Next, after the baby, Jesus was born, the unexpected happened again. In a dream, the angel told Joseph to take Mary and the child to Egypt because Herod wanted to destroy the child. So, once again Joseph accepts the unexpected and takes his little family to Egypt where they lived for several years. Then, unexpectedly, once again in a dream, Joseph is told it is safe to return to Nazareth. And once again, he packs up his family and belongings to journey home.
I wonder how many other unexpected experiences Joseph might have had in raising the child Jesus.
During this past year of the Covid-19 pandemic, we also have had to accept the unexpected. Teachers and students having classes online, large gatherings banned, travel limited, quarantine put into place, livestream Mass and social distancing, being apart from family and friends, the elderly being isolated and lonely, no wakes when a loved one dies are several of the things we have had to accept. And yes, it has not been easy!
Retiring from teaching to be a presence to my son and granddaughter in Sharon, temporarily living away from my congregation and parish, is just part of my story of the unexpected this past year. The most important thing I have come to know is that God is already at work in all of this. My response is to trust and not lose hope.
On the other hand, some positive things have come out of this crazy year. I have learned to live without all the “stuff” in my room at the Living Center. I am spending precious time with my son, granddaughter, and my 89-year-old mother. I have made new friends in the neighborhood including a French Bulldog.
Each of you has your own story. So, I offer you some questions for your own reflection:
What are the unexpected events you have had to accept this past year?
What has been most difficult for you to accept?
How are you experiencing God’s presence in all of this?
Make a list of the positive things that have come out of this experience.