On Father’s Day, St. Joseph is remembered as the example of a good father, who is the patron saint of fathers, families, married people and the universal church.
KAMPALA - It is fun to imagine what Jesus was like as a child. Was he naughty at times? Did he throw tantrums at two? Was he parroting his mother and father's words as a toddler?
Well, his foster father, St. Joseph must have had fun raising him because he was a patient and obedient man, who accepted the will of God to marry the pregnant Virgin Mary and raise God's son.
On Father's Day, St. Joseph is remembered as the example of a good father, who is the patron saint of fathers, families, married people and the universal church.
A good father needs to care and have the courage to protect his family from all conceived danger, which is exactly what he did when he escaped Bethlehem for Egypt with Baby Jesus and Mary to protect them from King Herod's wrath. At the time, Herod was killing Jewish baby boys in fear that one of them would become king.
According to Fr. Ivan Mukalazi of Opus Dei, a Catholic institution that calls for spreading the gospel in ordinary life and work, St. Joseph was selfless.
"In the limited knowledge we have about Joseph, we only see a man who only thought of serving Mary and Jesus, never himself. What many may see as sacrifices on his part were actually acts of selfless love," he said.
He added that owing to St. Joseph's devotion to his family, he became the model for fathers today, who may be allowing disordered attachments to the things of this world to distort their focus and hinder their vocations.
Fr. Mukalazi said St. Joseph led by example although none of his words are written in Scripture, we can clearly see by his actions that he was a just, loving, and faithful man.
"We often think that we primarily influence others by what we say, when so often, we are watched for our actions. Every recorded decision and action made by this great saint is the standard for men to follow," he said.
As St. Joseph was a worker (read carpenter), Fr. Mukalazi said it is likely that the humility he exhibited in recorded Scripture spilled over into the simple approach he took to his work and providing for the Holy Family.
"We can all learn a lesson from St. Joseph, who is also the patron saint of workers, on the value of our daily work and how it should exist to glorify God, support our families and contribute to society," he said.
He added: "He led as a teacher by teaching Jesus his trade and how to live and work as a man."
Fr. Mukalazi urged Christian men to emulate St. Joseph because they have the responsibility to be strong fathers and husbands, leaders in parishes, good stewards in the community and humble followers of Christ.