Today is the Feast of St. Joseph, husband of Mary, and Foster Father of Jesus. The Bible described him as a just man.
In celebrating his feast we could honor all the husbands and fathers who carry out their countless duties, being careful to give the example of being just.
Once sixty or seventy years ago a priest friend and I dropped by my sister’s house after her husband had a drink that made him cranky. He started talking about how us priests always had the church to take care of us, while he had no help with his nine kids who made constant demands on him. I so much resented his line of thought that I went out and sat in the car while my priest friend stayed talking.
Now, living on my priest’s pension, and looking back on that evening; I’ve come to see that my brother-in-law was right. Every father is like St. Joseph, with tons of obligations loaded on him. Fathers pay all the bills, bandage every knee, while giving a good example for their children.
With all that, they often go unnoticed. I think of the times when I left tools out to rust in the rain. My father would try reasoning with me, saying, “That monkey wrench was mine. I am a person who has a right to own things.”
I remember sleeping across the room from my father. We’d talk a bit, then, he’d say, “Be quiet. I’m saying my prayers.” Fathers who need a lot of prayers should pray to St. Joseph.