Advent: Joseph

nativity_poster_joseph_460The third starring character in our salvation story had the easiest job.  There were no lines to memorize or standing on marks to get the lights just right before filming begins.  Joseph just needed to be there.  He says nothing in the Bible which is pretty significant since it’s full of words.

Joseph was just there.  How many significant events happened during our lives and we can recall where were were, in full color?  Joseph is center stage but it didn’t seem to bother him to have the attention on his newborn or wife-to-be.

Joseph’s role is to be there and make his dreams have words through the actions of others.  Like the Old Testament Joseph, this New Joseph does the same thing.  Dreams and more dreams that all become real.  (If you named your child “Ryan” and he doesn’t speak a lot but dreams often you may wish to have his name changed.)

For us Joseph is two things.  He’s the dreamer and he was there.  How can we meld our dreams and our reality?  It seems pretty difficult at first but dreams illustrate what can be and reality shows us how it’s done.

Joseph doesn’t speak much because he doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone.  How often does our constant talking show how great or smart we are?  Joseph sits and listens and then dreams.  And do you know what happens?  Through Joseph’s dreams he is where he needs to be – beside his wife-to-be and the child who is his.  Jesus is Son to Joseph as much as Jesus is Son to us.

The major stars of our Nativity movie are the cow, donkey, Mary and Jesus.  (Go ahead and add the innkeeper, he only gets one line.)  Joseph becomes us.  Our sleep-fulled dreams are the messages that lead us to be where we need to be.


About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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