I sometimes wonder what kind of relationship Joseph had with Jesus. For example, when his parents find him in the Jerusalem temple, it is his mother who reprimands him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” I guess I would have expected Joseph to have a few firm words with Jesus, but I get the impression that Joseph was a strong but silent man. He raised Jesus by the example of his life and not by his words. He taught him by example to play fair, to tell the truth, to love and be loved.  

Joseph taught Jesus by his example to be a Jewish man, to work conscientiously and pay attention to the need of others and not be afraid of the poor. Do I model in my daily behavior a person coming to maturity and living the Gospel values in my dealings with others?

—Fr. Jim Riley, S.J. serves as assistant to the Jesuit superior at Colombiere Center, Clarkston, MI.