The hiddenness of St. Joseph

July 6, 2021 • 3 min

From St. Joseph’s Life, Virtues, Privileges, Power, page 143
By Very Rev. Archdeacon Kinane, P.P.

The hidden life of the Holy Family—Jesus, Mary and Joseph,—is a subject of deep reflection and useful meditation for the devout soul. The pious soul can meditate for ever on the wonders of the Hidden life of our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ.

At the Incarnation, Mary alone paid homage to the Word made flesh.

St. Joseph, St. Elizabeth, and the unborn Baptist next recognised and adored “the desired of the eternal hills.”

“The heavenly army” announced the “good tidings of great joy” to the shepherds, who worshipped “the infant lying in the manger.”

The Wise Men laid their gifts of “gold, frankincense, and myrrh” at the feet of the Divine Babe.

At the Presentation in the Temple, holy Simeon and Anna, the prophetess, by divine inspiration, recognised and adored the Saviour of the world.

And for eighteen years, that is, from His twelfth to His thirtieth year, not even one word is mentioned in the Gospel on the life of our Divine Redeemer. Well might the prophet say: “Verily, thou art a hidden God” (Isai, xlv. 15).

The Evangelist writes: “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John i. 10).

The Blessed Virgin, by her secret, hidden and exalted virtues, imitated Jesus, her Divine Son and Model.

With such shining lights before his eyes; with such models as Jesus and Mary ever in his presence, no wonder that the Life of St. Joseph was “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. iii. 3); no wonder that few facts and fewer virtues of our Saint are recorded by the Evangelists; nor are we then to be surprised that, after the losing and finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple by his “parents,” a single word is not said in the Gospels on the life and death of our holy Patriarch.

With the examples of Jesus, Mary and Joseph before our eyes, let us love to be hidden and unknown; let us do all our acts solely and purely for the greater glory of God, to please God alone; let us shun the esteem and praise of the world; let us keep before our mind the sublime doctrine which our Divine Saviour preached and practised, viz.: “Take heed,” said our Blessed Redeemer, “that you do not your justice before men to be seen by them … when thou dost an alms-deed, sound not a trumpet before … let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth … and thy father who seeth in secret will repay thee …, when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee” (Matt. vi. 1-6).

O most loving Jesus! grant us the grace to love to be hidden and unknown, and to do all our actions purely to please Thee. O Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, obtain for us the grace to live and die for Jesus’ sake.

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