The First Joyful Mystery is the Annunciation. It mostly refers to the events in Luke 1:25-28, where an Angel of the Lord comes down and tells Mary will conceive and bear a son and name him Jesus, but there is another Annunciation that takes place in Matthew 1:19-25. In the Annunciation in Matthew it is an Angel appearing to Joseph in a dream, like another well known Joseph, and telling him to fear not that Mary will bear a son by the Holy Spirit and he will be named Jesus. Joseph then does what the Angel told him in actions.
All to often we forget about Joseph, Mary’s spouse, in most of our reflections on Jesus. However Joseph plays an important role in the life of Christ and although he might have not been there for the whole time. The biggest fan of St. Joseph was Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica) who wrote in one of his many volumes about the necessity of Saint Joseph in the Incarnation, for without Joseph Mary would have been stoned and Jesus needed the care and protection of a father. Closer to today Pope John Paul II wrote and Apostolic Exhortation about Joseph (Redemptoris Custos) where he figure Joseph as a model loving father.
I am reminded of an Angelus of Pope Benedict XVI as he reflected on the role of Joseph and his silence. “St Joseph’s silence does not express an inner emptiness but, on the contrary, the fullness of the faith he bears in his heart and which guides his every thought and action.” Benedict continues by asking us to follow in the path of Joseph, “Let us allow ourselves to be “filled” with St Joseph’s silence! In a world that is often too noisy, that encourages neither recollection nor listening to God’s voice, we are in such deep need of it.” It is remarkable that these words still mean a lot, our world is noisy and we are constantly connected to our telephones often times missing out on the world around us.
Boston College has a cool little thing up about The Annunciation of Joseph as well. If you have some time I would suggest you check it out. Boston College’s Church in the 21st Century initiative is an online spiritual enrichment/faith formation course. They offer a number of programs each semester. If any of the course interest you why not sign up.
We need to follow the lead of St. Joseph and show through our actions the love that we have for other. As the old saying goes “Actions speak louder than words,” I hope that we are inspired by Joseph to do something.