View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, May 01, 2006

St. Joseph was a Dada man

If Dada is an attempt to challenge the values of the world, if it is an embracing of that which the world views as absurd, then St. Joseph was a Dada saint.

Think about it.

Here he is, this nice Jewish guy, a craftsman, looking for a wife.

We don’t know if he was a young man newly established in his carpentry trade and ready to start a family, or an older widower with children. There are stories both ways.

But he wanted Mary.

We have no description of what she looked like. Yet she was full of grace, so there must have been some kind of beauty that emanated from her.

The kind of beauty that stirs men’s hearts.

Including Joseph’s.

He likely dreamed of all the joys that marriage to such a woman would mean.

And then he finds out she’s pregnant.

Any normal man of the world would have rejected her. Another man’s child in my wife-to-be?


Ah, but he was a saint. A Dada saint.

An angel came to him in a dream. An angel? A dream? Who believes such things? It’s absurd.

Yet he listened. He believed. He took her into his home.

And he did not touch her. Ever.

Never? You’re married and you never, ever?


He took her to Bethlehem. All these strangers came to visit his wife and her son.

He was in the background. The fuss was about them.

A forgotten man.

Why any man of the world with pride would have boasted of his role.

Yep. An angel came to me. That’s the Son of God. I’m part of this.

He never said a mumblin’ word.

Then another dream. Another angel.

Run off to Egypt? With a wife and newborn? Just leave my business?


They went. We don’t know how long they were there. Perhaps it was for just a short time. But if it lasted any length of time, Joseph must have had to find a job to support his family. Maybe he worked for someone else. Maybe he even started his own carpentry shop.

Then there was yet another dream, another angel. Go home.

Just uproot yourself. Forget about the new home you started and the business connections you made in Egypt. Go.

He did.


And then there was that trip to Jerusalem. The boy goes off on his own.

He deserved a thrashing for that.

And tossing that “father’s business” crack in Joseph’s face.

Rubbing it in, right? I’m not your son.

Not a word.

And his role over, Joseph simply disappears.

What kind of man was he? What kind of man would put up with that?

A saint.

A Dada saint who embraced this absurdity and set an example for the world.

Amen the Amen!


Blogger Paula said...

Well said.Amen, brother.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

I can't imagine why I've never heard this interpretation before. Thanks.

2:34 PM  

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