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Every one’s role model?

Do you have a role model? Who is your role model? It is important for you to have a role model. Many of the highly successful people have role models. There are many outstanding figures you can take as your role model. One role model that I recommend is St. Joseph, the husband of Mary and foster father of the child Jesus. This man is what I like to call a universal role mode or every one’s role model. This man was a descendant of the royal line of King David and his family was from David’s town of Bethlehem. Joseph, Mary and Jesus settled in Nazareth. In his loving care was entrusted the childhood and youth of Jesus. Hence, Jesus grew up in his household for 12 years. Joseph’s last appearance in the bible occurs when he and Mary find the 12-year old Jesus in the Temple as narrated in Luke 2:41-51. Mary said, “My son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.” (Lk. 2:48) For Catholics, Joseph is the Patron of the universal Church. He is the greatest saint in heaven after the Blessed Virgin Mary. His feast day is on March 19, and the feast of St. Joseph the worker, is on 1st May. Joseph has many qualities that I admire. This explains why he is my chief role model. But who is a role model? The Cambridge English Dictionary defines role model as “a person who someone admires and whose behaviour they try to copy.” He is “a person whose behaviour is copied by others.” Business Dictionary.com defines a role model as “An individual who is looked up to and revered by someone else. A role model is someone other individuals aspire to be like.” On its part, Dictionary.com says, a role model is “A person who serves as an example of the values, attitudes and behaviors associated with a role. For example, a father is a role model for his sons. Role models can also be persons who distinguish themselves in such a way that others admire and want to emulate them.” Merriam-Webster defines a role model as “a person whose behaviour in a particular role is imitated by others. Synonyms of role model are legend, hero, heroine, idol and guiding light. Among the many qualities of St. Joseph, the universal role model there are twenty-one that stand out. These include:
  • He was humble
  • He was always listening to the Lord,
  • He was always seeking to understand God’s will and obey it with his whole heart and strength.
  • He was a just man.
  • He was a perfect model of the Christian.
  • He was pure of heart.
  • He was simple.
  • He was obedient.
  • He was patient.
  • He was a loving and faithful husband.
  • He had unconditional love for his wife.
  • He was hard working.
  • He was a man of faith.
  • He was selfless.
  • He was forgiving.
  • He was prudent.
  • He was understanding.
  • He was a great missionary.
  • He was a teacher.
  • He was a man of vision.
  • He was open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
  • Let us take a closer look at a few of these outstanding qualities. Joseph is described in the Gospel of Mathew as a just man: “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.” (Mt. 1.19). A just man is someone who gives God his due. He does not take or claim what is not his. He prays, lives by faith, and seeks to do good in every circumstance. Joseph gave God his due in this matter. When God decides we must oblige. We have no right to judge or question or deny. That would be unjust of anyone, refusing to give to God the right that belongs to him to do what he wants. He is a model Christian. Through his purity of heart, patience humility, obedience and fortitude, he is a perfect model of Christianity. He has all the cardinal virtues of Justice, fortitude, prudence and temperance. (CC1805) Joseph was a simple man; a poor carpenter, but though poor in worldly possessions, he was rich in grace. Joseph was a humble man. But this humility should not be taken to mean being weak-willed,timid or feeling bad about himself. In fact, humility actually reflects strength of character not weakness of character. Joseph displayed humility in being obedient to the Lord. That he obeyed everything the Lord said to him is so admirable. We start to see Joseph’s humility when we start to hear about him. Same goes for his just nature, his simplicity and obedience. When Mary came to be with child, Joseph confusion and resolve to put her away privately in order to spare her any public humiliation was a clear manifestation of his humility. This confusion was done away with when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and explained things to him: “But while he thought about these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is that of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Mt. 1:20-21). Joseph obeyed. Rising up from his sleep, he did as the angel commanded. ‘Then Joseph being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called his name Jesus.” (NKJV) After Jesus was born, an angel again appeared to Joseph and told him to take the Holy Family away to escape the wrath of Herod: “…behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying, Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.” Mt. 2:13-15KJV Joseph obeyed: “When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt…”Mt. 2:14 KJV Obedience is a very shouting quality in Joseph’s life. We recall, of course, that after a time in Egypt, after Herod died, the Angel came to him again and told him what to do; and he still obeyed: “After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt” and asked him to take mother and child back to Egypt. Joseph wasted no time to obey. We are told “Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went back to Israel.” Joseph obeyed everything the Lord asked him to do. Thus he was simple and obedient. As Christians, we are called upon to emulate the example of Joseph and make him our role model. He is, in fact, the role model of all Catholic men. The Catholic Men’s Association, which is spreading so fast is called the School of St.Joseph. This is because the members strive to follow the example of St. Joseph as much as they can in being just, obedient, simple, exemplary, patient, humble, a loving husband, an good and caring father and caretaker of Jesus Christ. As Joseph took care of Jesus, Catholic Men are required to take care of the body of Christ which is the Church. Joseph’s obedience reaped abundantly for him. He got married to a woman that all generations call ‘Blessed’. He was given custody of the greatest baby – Baby Jesus. He is ranked the second greatest Saint in heaven. He will forever be remembered. Many churches, schools and institutions are named after him. What lessons do we draw from the life of Joseph?
  • That simplicity and humility are good. God Loves simple and humble people. When you are simple and humble, He raises you. He raised Mary to become the mother of the Lord. He raised Joseph to the high position as we have just seen. From simple people, Jesus drew his apostles. Be simple. Be humble.
  • Obedience is a master key to God’s heart. He makes that clear in his written word. Moses assured the people, “If you obey the Lord your God and faithfully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, he will make you greater than any other nation on earth. ” Deut.28:1.
  • If you are on the side of God or you go into partnership with God, you will be find. Joseph was all along on the side of God, listening, hearing God’s voice through the angels and obeying.
  • Joseph was in the company of Jesus. He lived with him, worked with him , travelled with him and took care of him.
  • Always be in the presence of God or Jesus. Never take your eyes off him. If you should take your eyes off him mistakenly, bring them back.
  • Joseph took care of Jesus. Take care of Jesus by taking care if his body, the Church. You will receive your blessings.
  • By following in the footsteps of St. Joseph, you are saying yes to the qualities that this man has. You are saying Yes to st. Joseph as your role model.
  • I encourage you to make St. Joseph your role model. Like him, go to the Lord in prayer, listen to what he tells you and faithfully do it. Who knows? Maybe you will be so abundantly rewarded as St. Joseph was. God alone knows.

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