UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
- March 19, 2012
This is all the more remarkable considering that we know so little about Joseph from the Scriptures. But that little tells us much.
From the references to him in the Gospels, Joseph was a humble artisan and carpenter, a native of Nazareth in Galilee. Matthewâs Gospel describes him as ârighteousâ, that is, good, reliable, god-fearing. He was understandably upset when he found his betrothed Mary pregnant out of wedlock.
In the Old Testament we find that the patriarch Joseph had his life re-arranged for him through the medium of dreams â a shorthand for Godâs intervention through the unconscious â and so is our Joseph. âThe angel of the Lordâ who speaks to Joseph through his dreams tells him to marry Mary, and later to flee into Egypt to escape Herod; and still later, to settle down in Nazareth. In the stories of the ancient world only great men had dreams of destiny. With Jesusâs coming even ordinary people like Mary and Joseph are pre-destined by God for greatness. Their greatness consists in being chosen by God to fulfill his plans, no matter how strange. God continues to surprise us, dreaming or working.
Joseph was entrusted with the care of Mary and Jesus. It was a trust he measured up to, though there were difficult times, as the Gospel records: the birth of the Christ Child in a strange town, and his persecution; the time the boy Jesus went missing in the Temple; the challenges of understanding just who this son of his was, so similar to other boys, and yet so remarkably different. Every family has crises of this kind, and it is from Joseph that the Church asks us to seek guidance.
Someone once remarked that God must have a special love for ordinary people, since he made so many of them. In Joseph we see the ordinary virtues of parental love, reliability, trust and goodness expressed in one who is now a model for us all. Well does the Church say, as once Pharaoh said to the famished people of Egypt of our saintâs ancestor: âGo to Joseph, and do whatever he tells you !â