A man like you and me

With St. Joseph's Day still so close in our report, this week we have the partnership of Elena Puente, 2nd year student of the double Degree in Philosophy and Law. In this article she reflects on St. Joseph and his history.

I would like to think that when I mention the figure of St. Joseph, most of you know who I am referring to. Before I write a few brush strokes about him, I would like to tell an anecdote that happened to me the other day and it made me laugh a lot. I was waiting for the bus with a friend and I told her about the idea of writing about St. Joseph. She nodded and said: "Ah, yes, an apostle". I, a bit puzzled, said, "Auntie, St. Joseph, the Virgin, the Child...". Her response, which completely threw me off my game, was to ask me: "Is there a Virgin named St. Joseph?". Here I couldn't help but laugh, not knowing if it was a joke or if he really didn't know what he was talking about. A few seconds later she realized it and we both laughed. I don't say it for her, because she had just told me that she was very tired all day and I guess that led her to not understand me. But this made me think that many times we take things for granted or obvious that for other people are not so obvious. And that is what I want to avoid with this text.

St. Joseph, that man who stood out for his faith in God, for his complete trust without being certain of anything, for being the best lover of Mary, the one who cared for her the most, the one who understood her the most. He stood out above all for his work, for giving Jesus, and all of us, an example of humility, an example of how to be a saint with a life of the most ordinary. There are so many virtues in a life as ordinary as his that it makes one doubt whether he was really a man like us.

St. Joseph was such an elegant person that we hardly know about his life. His story leaves many windows open. For example, how he treated the Virgin. Those little details, which do not seem important, but we all know that they are. There is a phrase from a very beautiful song that says: "Kiss, where she steps he kisses." or "He looks at her, and when he sees her the world turns." And the fact is, who wouldn't want to have someone next to them who loves in such a way?

As women, the vast majority dream of a man like the ones in the movies or in books, the kind who knows how to understand us. Of those that many assure that they are no longer found or that they do not exist. Of those that it seems that you have to look under the rocks to find them. For this very important and complicated search I would recommend taking into account the personality of José. Imagine a man who trusts you so much that he has no doubt that the archangel Gabriel has appeared to you and now you are pregnant with the Son of God. Hahahahahaha. It would be completely surreal for any of us. Because, no matter how much faith you have, it must not be an easy thing to take in. If God wanted to let him take care of the Virgin, it is clear that he must have been the best of lovers.

An elegant man is a humble man. Another window open to the imagination is what St. Joseph was like at work. We know that he was a carpenter, and that he was a hard worker. We also know that from the time he was a little boy Jesus helped him in the workshop in whatever way he could.

When we think of him as a hard worker, we tend to think that he had no trouble getting up in the morning to go to the workshop, that he could spend hours with a smile fixing a table and that he finished everything in the time he set out to do it. That everything went wonderfully well and that the work seen in him was a simple and pleasant thing. Maybe I have exaggerated it a little, but I recognize that I have thought like that when I have decided to be as hard-working as he was.

Although we all already know it, it is good to remember that he also had trouble getting up in the mornings, that there were also days when he didn't feel like locking himself in the workshop because he preferred to go for a walk in the sun. That there were times when he tried to finish a chair in one hour and ended up finishing it in three. That sometimes he made mistakes and had to start all over again. He also had bad days, and maybe he even thought he was not a good carpenter.

And all this that happened to him, and happens to us, he was able to overcome it for love. Because what is needed to achieve happiness is not a comfortable life, but a heart in love.

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