Reflection: Feast of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary


By Fr Erl Dylan Tabaco, SSC


We all have plans in our lives. This is a universal facet of our human experience and regardless of what state of life we are in, we all want that someday our plans will be realized. Each day is an opportunity for us to look forward to the realization of our goals, plans, and dreams and this is the reason why we wake up each day energized and inspired to work and continue chasing after them. Most of the time, we exhaust our energy and passion to fulfill whatever plans we have set for ourselves, our family, association, and our community.


When we reflect on our own experiences, we encounter unexpected twists and turns that leave us bewildered.  Sometimes the least expected things happen leaving us grappling for answers. As we look back on how things unfold, we begin to question what God really wants for us. We express our litanies of whys, hows, and whats: Why did these things happen? What went wrong? Why did God allow these? How would I know if my plans or dreams are really meant for me? Was my effort not good enough? What will happen now to all my plans?


In our seemingly never-ending questions, our natural reaction of agitation, preoccupation, and restlessness will disorient us by thinking that life is so unfair that our zest for life slowly fades. What is the meaning of life then if my dreams are snatched away? This is not the kind of life that I wished for. It will be better if my life comes to an end. It seems that God was too busy and he has forgotten all my pleas.
Yet amidst the overwhelming chaos within us and the pain of brokenness, life will always find a new meaning if we anchor ourselves in God alone who knows what’s best for all of us. It requires a leap of faith to understand and realize that God has always been at our side. Through the lens of faith, we will see things from a new perspective, wherein God´s will always prevails. What we need is simply a submissive heart which allows His plan to unfold and find fulfillment. God has a perfect plan, and everything unfolds in His own time. If we entrust our whole lives to Him, our hearts will be filled with gratitude because God has already prepared the kind of life that He designed for us.


Today, we celebrate the solemnity of St. Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus who was given an important mission to participate in God´s mission in saving His people. God revealed His divine plan to Joseph in a dream through the Angel Gabriel. Apparently, Joseph had his own plans for Mary and for their future life together after their betrothal. He must have been excited to share his life with Mary and to have a family of their own. But when he found out that Mary was pregnant through the Holy Spirit, he was disturbed. It must have been a heart-breaking experience for him since he had already made up his mind on what possible plans that he was going to take. He decided to divorce Mary in all secrecy, as the best option for him in order to protect her from possible disgrace and persecution from the Jewish society. This was what he wished to happen despite the pain of not fulfilling his own dream. But out of a deep sleep, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and revealed His great plan to have him play an active role in His mysterious plan of salvation. Joseph listened attentively to what God wanted from him even though he could not understand fully what the message was all about. He woke up and followed the will of God by taking Mary as his wife. With his obedience, he became an instrument of fulfilling God’s dream for his people. God’s dream for Joseph, which is far greater than he could imagine, became a reality which changed the entire course of human history making God human like us in Jesus Christ. Joseph may have a silent role in God´s salvific plan but in his openness and meekness, he heeded the voice of God and entrusted his whole life to Him.


Joseph´s life is an example of total obedience to God. Obedience must be rooted in a heart that is totally disposed to what God really wants. Though uncertainties may flood our minds, our faith is enough to guide us  every step along the way, constantly trusting  in God´s providence. Similarly, like Joseph, we too have our own dreams and oftentimes these dreams are not consistent with God’s plan for us. How do we navigate reality? How do we feel when we discover that God has his own dream for us? Are we willing to let go of our own dreams like Joseph who trusted God’s plan and with an active faith, he said YES to God? Or do we remain callous and not allow God’s plan to influence our life and transform whatever dreams we have for ourselves?


As we continue with our Lenten preparation, let us seek Joseph´s intercession and imitate his openness to do God´s will. Like him, we too can respond with a deep trust that God´s way is better than ours. May we have a trusting heart like Joseph who magnifies the greatness of the Lord in his life through his faith in becoming God’s instrument of fulfilling His dream for all of us.


St. Joseph, patron of the universal Church, pray for us. Amen!


(image from