On this historic day of Pope Francis's inaugural Mass, we also celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, husband of Blessed Mary and adoptive father of Jesus.
This particular quote from the Holy Father's homily has been making the rounds, and I (along with numerous others) feel it expresses beautifully the challenge and fulfillment of husband and father. This goes out with a tremendous amount of gratitude to all those husbands and fathers striving to live in imitation of St. Joseph, first and foremost my own Hubbers. Praying St. Joseph may guide and protect you in the name of Jesus.
"How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand... How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans, and not simply to his own...
Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!"
~ Pope Francis, from his inaugural homily