Holy Mother Church made quite a statement this year in moving the feast of St. Joseph from the usual 19th of March to the 20th, since the 19th fell on a Sunday this year. St. Joseph’s feast is so big, we can’t just have it bumped off the calendar without so much as a white vestment to show for it!
Here at Santa Teresita, our residents joined the celebration with a St. Joseph’s table, a lunch outing, and an ice cream party to top it all off. We have double the reason to celebrate, since our chapel is named for St. Joseph. There, we have a beautiful image of St. Joseph to the right as you look towards the altar. As we celebrate this great and humble saint, it does us good to contemplate this image, the masterpiece of Maestro Rudolf Vargas, to gain some food for meditation and reflection.
It is difficult to look at this work without smiling. The little child Jesus stands on His holy tippy toes, reaching out a set of chubby little hands to grasp an enormous bunch of grapes which are being handed down to Him by Joseph; Joseph bends low to let His Son take the grapes from his hands, holding them out to Him in his strong arms with a look of absolute love. He looks as though he would give Jesus a bunch twice as large if little Jesus could hold the weight. Next to Jesus’ feet sits a little dog, half interested in the grapes, yet half just enjoying the affectionate exchange taking place before him.
It’s incredible to think that our God became man, and not only man, but a little baby boy. This image really brings that reality to life. You can see the love in Joseph’s eyes, and Jesus’ joy, not even so much in the grapes themselves, but in the love he receives from Joseph, his beloved foster father.
Sometimes, looking at this exchange, I feel like I’m the little dog, sitting there looking on, loving every bit of it and wanting to take part in it, even if not fully aware of exactly what is taking place.
Jesus and Joseph do want us to join them, though. Join Joseph in giving the Lord Jesus the biggest and best you have to offer, with all the love in your heart. Join Jesus in receiving love from our humble foster father and patron: good St. Joseph. Joseph wants to give you, too, the biggest bunch of grapes you can handle; just put out your little hands to him, and he’ll be sure to give.
St. Joseph, pray for us!