The Man God Depended On

In 1985, I had a baby at the same time that my then-husband developed a severe psychosis. I had a feeling that I would be raising my son alone. (I was right.) So I named him after the man I trusted could help me: Joseph.

Today we celebrate Joseph of Nazareth, the man God depended on to help raise Jesus. The Bible tells us that Joseph was “just.” This doesn’t only mean that he was fair. He was aligned with doing God’s will, no matter what. Even when devastated by what he thought was Mary’s betrayal, he wanted to do the right thing.

And he did. He married Mary. He named Jesus. He woke up in the night and took his family to Egypt based on a dream. He brought them back to Nazareth. He lived with Jesus for an unknown number of years. He taught Him, and he learned from Him.

When the neighbors were astounded at Jesus’ teaching, they asked, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” Yes, he was. And I think there was a resemblance.

Light All Your Candles for the Presentation of Our Lord

Not only is today Super Bowl Sunday and Groundhog Day, it’s also the Presentation of Our Lord on the Christian calendar. Today is a feast to commemorate Joseph and Mary taking the infant Jesus as a first-born son to the Temple for the ceremony commanded by God through Moses to induct him into Judaism.

Simeon and Anna were at the Temple, as they had been for thousands of days, waiting to see the Messiah. They recognized him.

This feast is also called Candlemas, and it involves blessing candles and lighting them. Try lighting up your candles to symbolize the light of the world arriving in His own temple.

This is also a good day to pray from the poor, migrants, immigrants and refugees, the Holy Family being one of this number.