When [Jesus’] mother Mary was engaged to Joseph . . . suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream and said to him: “Joseph, son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife. It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this child.”
Every year, the church celebrates the feast of Joseph the Worker. We should also celebrate the feast of “Joseph the Sleeper” and “Joseph the
Non-judger.” Both of these titles point out what he did not do. He did not judge Mary. She was pregnant but not by him. A lesser man would have driven her out of his life. Joseph didn’t. He puzzled over it, waited, and went to sleep. In his sleep, he dreamed and received God’s assurance. Then he did as his dream told him. He responded in faith and accepted the possibilities of God’s marvelous plan.
JOSEPH SPEAKS TO YOU
“Blessed are you, and worthy of God’s praise, if you do not judge others. You are not God. You cannot know the hidden reasons for anyone’s behavior; you do not even know the reasons for your own. In the silence of quiet prayer, even in sleep, you can be told about love’s plan operating in you. Be open to it. Live your life according to faith, and God will always guide you.”
Jesus, my Lord, help me to be more like Joseph who took such good care of you. See to it that I have a peaceful sleep each night, based on a good conscience and healthy work habits. And, especially, let me think of Joseph when I’m tempted to sit in judgment of those who have hurt me. Amen.