“Joseph: I Am who I Am”
Fourth Sunday in Advent
Our gospel reading today takes us to the home of a man named Joseph. He is the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the Christmas story, this pretty much says everything that most people seem know about the man. Joseph takes a secondary role to his wife who is the one who is now “venerated” (to be adored and worshipped) for her role as the mother of Jesus. Joseph is the forgotten man who comes on the scene briefly at the beginning of Jesus’ life, but then disappears, never to be heard from again.
Of the four gospel accounts, Matthew says the most about him and in our reading from Matthew 1:18-25 he is in the forefront of the story. The problem is, we often read the story too fast to even notice Joseph or understand what he is called to do. At Christmas time we sing “All is calm, all is bright, round yon virgin, mother and child.” However, standing in the background of the mother and child is the person we have now read about. His name is Joseph and everything is not so calm and bright in his world. Joseph is hurting. Our reading begins by telling us the woman to whom he is engaged to be married is pregnant, and he is not the father. It’s not the “most wonderful time of the year” for Joseph.