The following article appeared on the Our Sunday Visitor News website. I am grateful to OSV for publishing my work!
On Dec. 8, the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph being named the patron of the universal Church, Pope Francis declared that the Church would celebrate a year in his honor. There has always been a robust and healthy devotion to St. Joseph in the Church, but this jubilee year comes at a time when the Church and the world specifically need the patronage of this husband, father, carpenter and saint. Whether we are earthly fathers, spiritual fathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters or children, all of us should be mindful to grow in our understanding and appreciation of God’s divine fatherhood. That’s why Pope Francis has given us this year of devotion.
We know from Scripture that St. Joseph was “a righteous man” (Mt 1:19). How many of us want to become more righteous, to live more fully in right relationship with God and each other? Imitating a righteous man is a sure way to become more righteous ourselves. In fact, in Patris Corde, his apostolic letter announcing the jubilee year, Pope Francis calls us to remember that St. Joseph taught Jesus how to walk, how to worship and how to live in righteousness before God. If he can help Jesus do that, he certainly can walk alongside us and teach us, too.