Joseph knew

December 23

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 the world’s uncertainties.

To fend, and guard, and break the fall of harsh


He had not thought refusal was a word

Remaining in a language that had held

Her name.

(Excerpted from A Woman Wrapped in Silence By John W. Lynch)

Today’s Reflection:

What aspects of these lines strike you most? Consider the relationship between Mary and Jesus. 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.

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