My hometown cathedral houses a beautiful statue of the Holy Family. The statue depicts the Child Jesus standing in front of Mary and Joseph. Mary’s hands are folded in prayer as she looks lovingly at her Son, and Joseph’s right arm and hand are hanging loosely but intentionally over Jesus’ chest, close to His heart. In turn, the Child Jesus is reaching up and holding tightly to His earthly dad’s arm.
This image always strikes me because it is such a natural father-child position. I watch my husband do the same thing, mindlessly, when our son stands in front of him. Arms reaching low, hands covering the heart of his child. This protective stance speaks volumes of a father’s ordained role, and I will never cease to be amazed that our God entrusted Himself to the care of an imperfect man.
Today, we celebrate the feast of Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus and patron saint of the universal Church. Just as God placed Himself in the protective care of Joseph, He places us, His beloved Church, under that same unwavering care. As our guardian, Saint Joseph places his hand over our hearts, he shares the wisdom of his fidelity to God (even in the midst of uncertainty), he worries about us when we get lost, and he turns back to find us.
If our Lord found Joseph worthy to protect and provide for Him, why shouldn’t we do the same?
Sisters, what would you like to entrust to Saint Joseph today? He’s standing beside you, and his hand is placed protectively over your heart. Cling to him tightly in return. He’s waiting to bear your cares and bring your concerns to the Father. Put him in charge of something. Let him show you how to respond to God’s plan in faith. Let him find you if you’re lost. Let him provide for you. Let him protect you.
Saint Joseph, patron of the universal Church and terror of demons, pray for us.
Olivia Spears lives in Kentucky where sweet tea and bourbon flow like milk and honey. She is the Blog Manager for Blessed is She and works from home as an editor and social media manager. She likes to binge novels and Netflix while raising her children and laughing with her husband. You can find out more about her here.