The simplest description of today’s solemnity is that it acknowledges that Joseph is the husband of Mary, as the genealogy at the start of today’s Gospel describes. Mary has an important role in the Lord’s plan of salvation; through her fiat at the Annunciation Our Lord became flesh and started to dwell among us. The First Reading today also shows Joseph’s importance in the mystery of salvation: The Lord promised David that one of his descendants would establish his royal dynasty forever. Joseph was a descendant of David, as today’s Gospel reminds us, therefore thanks to marrying Mary Our Lord would be of the lineage of David.
However, we don’t just remember Joseph today for his blood lineage. As the genealogy reminds us today, there were some bad people descended from David too: breeding is not everything. In today’s Second Reading Paul reminds us what is truly special about Joseph’s lineage, as he proved by believing the angel and taking Mary as his wife: it is a lineage of faith. Abraham was considered righteous before God because of his faith. Joseph not only passes along the heritage of David’s line, but also a heritage of faith. Joseph had the generosity, simplicity, and faith to help Mary to raise Our Lord well.
Many countries celebrate today as Father’s Day. Let’s pray for all fathers to imitate the virtues of St. Joseph, and also not be shy about asking him to help us with those practical and tough things a father likes to help resolve.