Sometimes the idea of “Father God” can be a little scary. The intellect can comprehend the idea of a God who loves, but the image is still one that is “over there” until you build up your courage! But in the story of salvation we have a true Father who is one of us, Joseph. He is the flesh and blood model of a man of integrity who lives his trust in God, literally. Remember all of the information he got from God was in the form of one hallucination (dream) or another. Yet his trust was not moved one iota! In many ways Joseph is an archetype of the Old Testament’s Job. He never challenged, criticized or questioned God about the circumstances of his life, crazy as they may be. The bible always shows the completion of “the cycle” by showing us the precursor and then the fulfillment.
Joseph is our New Testament hero who knows what it’s like to live with God completely. It is interesting that he is not recorded as speaking one word in scripture. His life and the way he lived is so potent that his words are not needed. Would that some day somebody would say that about each of us. As I look at the image above I cannot help but be impressed by it’s beauty but more than that, I want to experience the love of the man who so adores the infant Jesus that the emotion shown in his face transcends everything around him. God loves each of us like that. If you want to learn about love, if you want to know about God, if you want to understand Jesus, if you want to understand faith, if you want to learn trust, if you need courage, follow the wisdom of a great Latin admonition of the Church: Ite ad Joseph. Go to Joseph, you will not be disappointed.
(Painting by Guido Reni d. 1642)