“Is he not the carpenter?”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/05/09 at 9:11 AM
Joseph loved Jesus as a father loves his son and cared for him, giving him the best he had.  Joseph took charge of this child as he had been commanded and turned Jesus into a workman, passing on his craft to him.  That is why their neighbors in Nazareth, when they spoke of Jesus, called him, roughly speaking, a ‘carpenter’ or ‘the son of a carpenter’.  Mt. 13, 55

Jesus must have resembled Joseph in his traits of character and ways of working and talking. His realism, his powers of observation, his way of sitting at table and breaking bread, his attraction for explaining his teaching in a concrete way by taking his examples from everyday things, reflect what Jesus’ childhood and youth were like and therefore his relationship with Joseph. What depths there are in this mystery! This Jesus, who is a man, who speaks with the accent of a particular region of Israel, who resembles a workman named Joseph, is indeed the Son of God. And who can teach God anything? Nevertheless, he is truly man and his life is a normal one: first a child, then a young man who helps Joseph in the workshop, and finally a mature man in the fullness of age: «Jesus advanced in wisdom and grace before God and men» (Lk 2,52).

At the human level Joseph was Jesus’ master. Day by day he surrounded him with tender affection and cared for him with joyful self-denial. Is this not a very good reason for thinking this man to be just (Mt 1,19): this saintly patriarch in whom the Old Testament faith reaches its climax as a master of the interior life?


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