The article of the month

Saint Joseph by Jennifer Hubbard

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

My heart cracks open as I contemplate what had to have been Joseph’s sadness in the instant he learned his betrothed, the woman he would call his wife and with whom he would share his life, was with child. Surely disappointment crushed him, questions flooded him, and knowing there would be no wedding—no perceived happily ever after—paralyzed him. While, in this moment, it would be understandable for Joseph to blame and cast aside Mary, yet Joseph, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly (Mt 1:19). I am spellbound as Joseph’s endless compassion pours over Mary and the lamb tucked under her heart. And still the beautiful love story continues as God speaks truth into Joseph’s heart. I catch my breath as his fear is lifted and Joseph is instructed to bring his wife into his home.

Not yet married, Joseph and Mary are exquisitely woven together by a Father who knows each of their needs for a tender companion. It is with this realization that my unspoken question is answered: What God has joined together, no human being must separate (Mt 19:6). Truly there is a happily ever after, which I often ponder. It is not a certificate or ceremony but it is the one hand chosen for each one of us, established before all time by the One who knows no time or space. It is the sacramental union of two hearts created with a love which surpasses human understanding. A heart moved in abundant tenderness to its beloved has the power to open the door to the miracle that awaits.

Jennifer Hubbard resides in Newtown, Conn. The younger of her two children, Catherine Violet, was a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.