There was no room for them within the inn, and Joseph turned away.
To find again, a woman wrapped in silence. Had she heard?
No sign appeared, nor stir of tranquil veil to tell of it.
But Joseph knew, and silence and the glance that smiled at him could not
Shut out the need for shelter that was yet unsaid. He knew!
And suddenly it rose in him again what it was he knew, and what was here
Beseeching in the night. An innocence that had been burnished flawless to return all brightness, till the Inexhaustible had searched for her this last and
utter grace that left no more to give.
…Like blessedness that had not been before…and he was guardian, Guardian!
Whose task to fear not, but to throw his life about her as a cloak. To be a strength between her and world’s uncertainties. To fend, and guard, and break
the fall of harsh rejection…He had not thought refusal was a word remaining in a language that had held her name.
Excerpts from A Woman Wrapped In Silence by John W. Lynch, reprinted by permission of Paulist Press, Inc
What aspects of these lines strike you most? Consider the relationship between Mary and Jesus. How was/is rejection of her, rejection of Him? What is Joseph’s response to the rejection? How do you see in his response the charisms that mark authentic masculinity – provider, protector, leader? What do you make of the surprise he experiences as expressed in the last three lines? How have you experienced rejection in your life? During this beautiful season, ask St Joseph’s intercession.