Feast of St. Joseph, Observed: Wednesday, March 20 | Luke 2:41-52

David Schaap

Today’s proximity to the Feast of St Joseph (March 19) made me think about this passage from the viewpoint of Joseph, when I’ve only ever regarded it from the viewpoint of Jesus. I remember as a child thinking how cool it was a 12-year old stayed on his own in Jerusalem while his parents went home, and I, of course, felt I was sufficiently mature as a 12-year-old myself to be out on my own as well.

That thought never consciously went away until I was an adult and had children of my own. Joseph was clearly a good father to Jesus, raising him in the Jewish faith, always travelling to Jerusalem for Passover. He followed the angel’s direction to marry Mary, and he also took his young family to Egypt, again at the urging of an angel. I’m sure in this incident, Joseph and Mary assumed Jesus was with his normal companions as they travelled home to Nazareth. I can only imagine the fear and angst they had when they could not find Jesus anywhere in their group. I’ve lost track of my children in a store or in our neighborhood, and a moment of panic sets in. I know the relief and possibly anger when they found Jesus in the temple.

An anger that defies reasoning, as Jesus tried to do with them in his explanation. In the Eastern church, the following hymn is sung on St. Joseph’s feast day:

Verily, Joseph the betrothed, saw clearly in his old age that the foresayings
of the Prophets had been fulfilled openly; for he was given an odd earnest,
receiving inspiration from the angels,
who cried, Glory to God; for he hath bestowed peace on earth.

May we, in our maturity and old age allow God to speak to us with inspiration to love and follow Jesus as St. Joseph did.

David Schaap is Trinity Cathedral’s organist and choirmaster and recently celebrated his 20th anniversary at the Cathedral.

Find all Lenten Devotionals from Trinity Cathedral here.