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Joseph, Husband of Mary

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Joseph probably did not think much about his Davidic heritage, but he played his role is passing it on to the true Davidic king because he trusted and committed to God and therefore was righteous. That is what God used to fulfill his promise.

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God Fulfills his Promises


I doubt that Joseph thought much about his place in God’s promises

Probably he was aware of his Davidic lineage, but not that he was in the direct line
After all, the Davidic clan was large and diffuse
And if Luke is correct, Joseph was not from the line of kings, but a collateral line
Furthermore, he was of humble circumstances and needed to focus on working for a living
Finally, the last set of kings of Judah had been priest-kings, not Davidic kings - and since them, all who had claimed to be Messiah had been killed
But God knew his promise: “Your house and your kingdom are firm forever before me; your throne shall be firmly established forever”

Joseph was concerned with righteousness - he was a true Jew

Matthew testifies to his being a righteous man - surely all who knew him would have said that, although he was a technos and not in the educated classes or a religious leader

And this was the righteousness that comes from “faith” - from trust in and commitment to God

That is, trust led to righteous actions, although as a boy perhaps following the way of righteousness led to deeper trust and commitment.

So when he learns that his wife is pregnant now, before the time that he would take her to his home, whatever he felt, he reflexively asks what would be the God-like thing to do, the righteous thing. It would not be righteous to condone her obvious sin, but then God is full of mercy, so what would mercy look like? Ah, yes, “The most private divorce possible, done quietly.” Perhaps he sighed sadly when he came to this conclusion.

Then came the dream. Notice that he recognized it as divine and trusted it and did not fear what others thought and did not fear to take his wife to him. Here was a man full of trust in and commitment to God. And he skipped work that morning to go directly to the house where Mary lived.

One wonders if Joseph ever fully grasped that God was fulfilling his promise

Yes, the angel had called him “Son of David.”

Yes, he grasped that Mary had not sinned but that this child was in some way “through the Holy Spirit.”

Yes, he remembered to name him Jeshuah, but perhaps did not know in what sense he would save his people from their sins. Sounds prophetic, perhaps, but could be political.

Did Joseph even once think that Jesus would “sit on the throne of his father David”? Perhaps most of his thoughts were about providing for and protecting his wife and child and later showing his son how to be a good construction worker.

He probably never reflected on the fact that by acknowledging the child at the child’s circumcision, i.e. by naming him, he had placed him in David’s line and was making the fulfillment of God’s promise happen.

And he probably died well before Jesus left to be part of the Baptist movement

Sisters, this teaches us

God will fulfill his promises
We will be at least bit players in that fulfillment, but probably will never know how
As long as we focus on trust in and commitment to God, on righteousness, we will play our part well
Trust and commitment and living out our vocation well is our only concern; God can take care of his own promises and will grant us such revelation and understanding as we need
But often we are like Joseph who did have three or four significant dreams, but otherwise simply fulfilled his duty as a faith-filled righteous Jewish technos without realizing that the final act of the theodrama was taking place and that he was caring for the Lord of the universe.


Catholic Daily Readings 3-19-2022: Joseph, Husband of Mary


2 Samuel 7:4–5a, 12–14a, 16

4 But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan: 5 Go and tell David my servant, Thus says the LORD: Is it you who would build me a house to dwell in?

12 when your days have been completed and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, sprung from your loins, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He it is who shall build a house for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever. 14 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. If he does wrong, I will reprove him with a human rod and with human punishments;

16 Your house and your kingdom are firm forever before me; your throne shall be firmly established forever.

Catholic Daily Readings 3-19-2022: Joseph, Husband of Mary


Psalm 89:37

37 His dynasty will continue forever,

his throne, like the sun before me.


Psalm 89:2–5, 27, 29

2 I will sing of your mercy forever, LORD

proclaim your faithfulness through all ages.

3 For I said, “My mercy is established forever;

my faithfulness will stand as long as the heavens.

4 I have made a covenant with my chosen one;

I have sworn to David my servant:

5 I will make your dynasty stand forever

and establish your throne through all ages.”


27 He shall cry to me, ‘You are my father,

my God, the Rock of my salvation!’

29 Forever I will maintain my mercy for him;

my covenant with him stands firm.

Catholic Daily Readings 3-19-2022: Joseph, Husband of Mary


Romans 4:13, 16–18, 22

13 It was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would inherit the world, but through the righteousness that comes from faith.

16 For this reason, it depends on faith, so that it may be a gift, and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants, not to those who only adhere to the law but to those who follow the faith of Abraham, who is the father of all of us, 17 as it is written, “I have made you father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist. 18 He believed, hoping against hope, that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “Thus shall your descendants be.”

22 That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Catholic Daily Readings 3-19-2022: Joseph, Husband of Mary


Psalm 84:5

5 Blessed are those who dwell in your house!

They never cease to praise you.



Option A

Matthew 1:16, 18–21, 24a

16 Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah.

18 Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. 19 Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. 20 Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. 21 She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

24 When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.


Catholic Daily Readings 3-19-2022: Joseph, Husband of Mary




First Reading 2 Samuel 7:4–5a, 12–14a, 16

Response Psalm 89:37

Psalm Psalm 89:2–5, 27, 29

Second Reading Romans 4:13, 16–18, 22

Gospel Acclamation Psalm 84:5

Gospel Matthew 1:16, 18–21, 24a or Luke 2:41–51a

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