Our Gospel describes Joseph as a righteous man, but I am saddened at their abandoning the way our Bible for centuries had referred to Joseph as “a just man.”
My mother had her way of referring to people who hit you in the face with their spirituality. She would avoid any woman who jangled a rosary in her face. She’d refer to such a lady as a “holier-than-thou.” She might also have referred to her as “that righteous dame.”
In calling Joseph a just man we add no tinge of pretentiousness. It has us seeing him for what he was, a good man wrestling with a terrible problem.
Being a just man in terms of the Law of Moses, Joseph could not take that child Mary was carrying as his own. But being a just man in God’s eyes, he could not make a move that would hurt that wonderful woman Mary.
You think you have problems? They are nothing compared to the perplexity that had Joseph in its grasp.
Thank God for the angel who set him straight on the situation, telling him that, “it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.”