Pope Francis uses the phrase “creative courage” to describe Joseph’s trusting obedience. By this he means that while Joseph was presented with challenges in fulfilling his mission to protect and raise Jesus, he was not given simple and clear solutions to those challenges. He had to be resourceful, creative, courageous in engaging them to find the answers. He offers two examples clear in the Gospels: finding no lodging in Bethlehem, and having to flee by night to Egypt. They are simple to describe but the problems they presented called for a series of decisions and steps to resolve – a place to stay, financial arrangements, food, employment. As the Pope notes, “for all the arrogance and violence of worldly powers, God always finds a way to carry out his saving plan.” And most often, this “way” involves people like us, who combine human effort with trust in divine providence. Joseph was entrusted with the greatest treasures of our faith – the Son of God and the Mother who gave Him the human nature He would offer on the Cross. Because Jesus reveals to us: “Whatever you do to the least, you do to Me,” we too are made sharers in our place and time in the same mission Joseph accepted – to care for the Body of Christ. And like Joseph, we need the creative courage to combine human effort with trust in divine providence.
What concrete problems do you face that can benefit from St. Joseph’s intercession and his example of creative courage?