Our first relationship is with God the Father, our Creator — “He made us; we belong to Him.” (Psalm 100:3) He has shown us His Face, and given us His Name in Jesus Christ. He has made us His Sons and Daughters in Jesus. Satan’s envy, however, seeks to destroy humanity’s relationship with God the Father by attacking fatherhood, and destroying families — leaving behind the wreckage of millions and millions broken wounded souls. As a result, the image of human fatherhood is distorted or completely shattered, causing many to mistrust and reject God our Father, who created us in His love.
Only God can heal what has been so deeply wounded and restore our image of what a father was meant to be: a just man — a Godly man — who could be trusted and relied upon for security, truth, peace, wisdom, understanding, strength — a strong man, who would never fail in love.
God has given us devotion to St. Joseph, as a reflection of His own fatherly love for us, and a means, not only to heal the broken souls, but to also fill them with His fatherly gifts, which are not material, but spiritual. Devotion requires relationship, and relationship with someone begins with a particular face and name. Through our faces we can communicate to another what is hidden deep within our souls — St. Joseph can be trusted with what is hidden and broken in our hearts. Names have meaning, giving a clue to shed light on the mystery of the person. The mysterious meaning of the name of Joseph is “He will increase.”
“The name is the icon of the person. It demands respect as a sign of the dignity of the one who bears it. The name one receives is a name for eternity. God calls each one by name. Everyone’s name is sacred.”– Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2158-59
Therefore, St. Joseph’s name is an icon of his person, and the meaning of his name is a key to the treasures that are unveiled; it is a key to the gifts that he wants to bestow on those who are blessed to enter into a relationship with him. We can turn to St. Joseph in every need and he will be there to help heal what is wounded and restore what has been broken, above all, to restore our shattered image of fatherhood and relationship with God our Father.
For little Jesus, St. Joseph’s name was “Abba” – Father, Daddy. His was the first man’s face that the Christ Child saw, with all the virtues reflected there – humility, patience, obedience, faith, hope, charity… St. Joseph’s face was the mirror of the image of God the Father, and his name was the echo of the Holy Name of God.
When we go to St. Joseph, as our model, in prayer and contemplation, “he will increase” the fatherly gifts of grace, virtues, and God’s mercy in us. And Jesus will look on us, with eyes of love, as He looked upon the face of His father on earth, the glorious St. Joseph.
Heavenly Father, You gave St. Joseph a share in Your fatherhood and placed him as a father to Jesus on earth. Help us to be obedient to Your will as he was. Teach us the way of prayer that we may enjoy the friendship of Mary and Jesus as did St. Joseph. During life's hardships, give us courage to walk with those who need us that we may be enriched by their gifts. Carry us through sufferings and trials with St. Joseph at our side. And may we look to him at the final hour of death. We ask this through your Son, Jesus, Amen.