The Solemnity of St. Joseph falls the day before Palm Sunday this year. The juxtaposition of St. Joseph whom we know only in the context of Jesus’ childhood with the passion and death of Jesus joseph-makes me wonder what role Joseph may have played during the passion of Jesus? Did memories of Joseph cross Jesus’ mind on the way to Calvary? Perhaps Joseph’s strength gave Jesus strength. Perhaps Joseph’s obedience to an angel helped Jesus learn obedience through what he suffered. Palms waving—a glimpse of Joseph’s play? Rough wood of the cross—Joseph’s calloused, splintered, bleeding hands? Twenty pieces of silver—Joseph’s integrity knowing the real worth of the Child in his care. The compassion of Jesus toward the weeping women of Jerusalem—Joseph’s compassion toward Mary? Jesus’ silence during trial—Joseph’s silence? Peter’s betrayal—Joseph’s words to his little boy when Jesus heartbroken by a friend’s words came from school or synagogue to hear Joseph’s wise advice? Dying with words of forgiveness on his lips—the words of Joseph as he approached death? Jesus’ trust in Abba first learned in a boy’s trust in his foster father? The Joseph who trudged to Bethlehem and who anxiously made his way to Egypt certainly was with Jesus every step of the way to Calvary.


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