ON the Solemnity of St. Joseph which this year is celebrated on March 20 instead of the usual March 19, since the latter date falls on a Sunday that is always dedicated to the celebration of Christ’s life, we are reminded that this great and privileged man teaches us how to take care of Christ who as a growing boy also had to be trained in fulfilling the basic duties and virtues common to all humanity.
If we consider that Christ, as man, also had to be born, to grow and mature in us, then it should come as something automatic to us that having a deep devotion to St. Joseph can truly help us become “another Christ” as we should, especially in the “growing years” of Christ in us.
Let us remember that Christ is both God and man, his divinity is always united to his humanity. Knowing how Christ developed in his humanity could help us to understand and enter into his divinity. The humanity of Christ is the “way, the truth and the life” shown and shared with us to lead us to his divinity.
Yes, for us to be “another Christ” in his adult and mature stage, we have to learn first how to be “another Christ” in his childhood days. We have to learn how to bring up the child Christ in us into the adult and mature Christ. We just cannot have the adult and mature Christ in us without knowing the child Christ and what went through his childhood.
In this, we have to remember that Christ made himself subject to Mary and Joseph. In the gospel, there is a passage that describes this truth. It’s that part where the child Christ was lost and then found, and returned to Nazareth. “He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He was subject to them.” (Lk 2,51)
We have to realize that the Christ who in his public life went around preaching and doing many wonderful things and, in the end, offered his life on the cross for the salvation of all mankind, also had to learn how to do the ordinary and little things in his hidden life in Nazareth.
It definitely is a good idea to approach St. Joseph to ask him how to make the Christ as a boy in us learn some basic skills to become Christ in his mature and definitive stage in us. Yes, in a manner of speaking, Christ also has to grow in us from childhood to adulthood, and St. Joseph can play an important role in this regard.
Thus, we have to make our devotion to St. Joseph a real one, not just something sentimental, or something done out of mere compliance, or just for show. If our faith is strong and deep, we know that St. Joseph can be very much alive in our mind and heart and is eager to help us. We should be quick to discern what he is teaching us with regard to how to bring up the boy Christ to be the adult Christ.
Here we should realize the importance of the hidden life of Christ as a preparation for his public life. How Christ was as a child, how he was trained and brought up by Mary and Joseph somehow determined how Christ was to be in his adult and mature life.
The way he spoke, the way he worked, the way he treated women, the virtues of fortitude, endurance, humility, etc. must have been learned with the help of Joseph together with Mary.