Last night my husband and I were up late cleaning up after our St. Joseph Feast Day celebration with family and friends. It was nearing midnight and there were piles of dirty dishes to be stacked in the dishwasher, limoncello glasses and espresso cups and wine goblets to be washed by hand, tablecloths to be laundered, and tables and chairs to be carried inside.
There was no denying the mess, but the empty wine glasses, dirty plates, and sticky limoncello glasses simply meant we had a lovely evening of family, food, faith, laughter, companionship and, yes, St. Joseph.
So you see, all that cleaning up didn't feel like work at all.
It felt like a blessing.
Who was St. Joseph? The last time he is mentioned in Sacred Scripture is when he and Mary returned to the Temple in Jerusalem to look for Jesus. After that, nothing.
But dwelling on what is unknown can distract us from this: the silence of St. Joseph is there for a reason, and it speaks volumes.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once wrote about the silence of St. Joseph and how that silence is steeped in the contemplation of the mystery of God. In a world which is noisy and distracts us all too easily from God's word, it is the steadfastness and quiet strength of St. Joseph who exemplifies prayer, devotion, and the willingness to do God's will.
Ultimately, we may not know everything about St. Joseph, but we know everything that is important. By his example he shows us how to live a holy life, one that is lived in God's presence. In his silence he speaks. All we have to do is listen.
You can read more about our St. Joseph Feast celebration (and why he is so important to our family) in my book An Ocean, an Airplane, and Two Countries Full of Kisses.