« Winter Sunshine | Main | News of the hilarious kind ... »

December 23, 2007

Joseph and Mary

A interesting thought for today rests on St Joseph, the husband of Mary and foster father of Jesus. The gospel reading for today gives an insight into this man's feelings and sense of justice when he discovered his bride to be was pregnant. Jewish law stipulated that a girl falling pregnant was to be stoned to death, but Joseph had a different view. He intended to quietly send her away so she could have the child somewhere and escape the stigma. Then he changed his mind and married her after a visit from an angel.

Most paintings depict him as an old man, but one Spanish artist depicts him, more accurately I think, as a young man with a small Jesus clinging to his leg as he works. Whatever you think of Joseph there is one thing that stands out. Here was a man whose hopes of a loving marriage were rudely dashed by the discovery of his betrothed's pregnancy. Jospeh was not the sort of person to "live" with his bride to be, so it must have come as a terrible blow to find she had apparently betrayed his love for her. Yet he doesn't react in the way many would, he reacts with sympathy and love. Even leaving out the angelic messenger, his subsequent behaviour, his protection of the infant and later the growing boy sets us an example that is hard to beat.

In my view Joseph is probably the most under rated person in the entire Bible.

Posted by The Gray Monk at December 23, 2007 01:41 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry: