Patris Corde 4a: An Accepting Father

Pope Francis reflects on (a)n accepting father:

Joseph accepted Mary unconditionally. He trusted in the angel’s words.  “The nobility of Joseph’s heart is such that what he learned from the law he made dependent on charity. Today, in our world where psychological, verbal and physical violence towards women is so evident, Joseph appears as the figure of a respectful and sensitive man. Even though he does not understand the bigger picture, he makes a decision to protect Mary’s good name, her dignity and her life. In his hesitation about how best to act, God helped him by enlightening his judgment”. [Homily at Mass and Beatifications, Villavicencio, Colombia (8 September 2017): AAS 109 (2017), 1061]

I don’t see this as a throwaway reference from a homily on a Marian feast. Children observe parents carefully. The example of Joseph as a man who respects and accepts his wife is relevant for any family dynamic. In this context, it’s about how a father helps set the tone for respect, and not just wordless acceptance of another loved one.

The Holy Father citing Joseph’s “not understand(ing) the bigger picture” does not preclude him listening and acting in a virtuous way.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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