Today’s the Feast of St. Joseph. The place were I connected most with St. Joseph is in Nazareth standing around the sculpture in the banner photo near St. Joseph’s Church and close to the Basilica of the Annunciation.
What came to my mind upon beholding the sculpture is this quotation from Tales of the Hasidim by the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber:
The fact that the hasid [pious Jew] looks at the zaddik [righteous man] perfects his sense of sight, his listening to him, his sense of hearing. Not the teachings of the zaddik but his existence constitute his effectiveness; and not so much the circumstance that he is present on extraordinary occasions as that he is there in the ordinary course of days, unemphatic, undeliberate, unconscious; not that he is there as an intellectual leader but as the complete human being with his whole worldly life in which the completeness of the human being is tested.” – Martin Buber, Tales of the Hasidim
His existence constitutes his effectiveness… there in the ordinary course of days… as a complete human being with his whole worldly life in which the completeness of the human being is tested.
I also recall this reflection by St. Josemaria:
Joseph was, we have said, a craftsman from Galilee, just one man among many. What had life to offer to someone from a forgotten village like Nazareth? Nothing but work: work every day, with the same constant effort. And at the end of the day, a poor little house in which to rest and regain energy for the next day.
But the name Joseph, in Hebrew, means “God will add.” God adds unsuspected dimensions to the holy lives of those who do his will. He adds the one important dimension which gives meaning to everything, the divine dimension.
May God add the divine dimension that gives our lives meaning in every test we face and may we be steady and faithful. St. Joseph, patron saint of Canada, pray for us.