Here’s what we think we know historically about Joseph: He was an observant Jew, possibly an ardent nationalist, a distant descendant of King David, and a “tekton”—the Greek word that we usually translate as “carpenter” but which generally means someone in the building trades. Matthew portrays him as a man of deep faith, open to the mystical interpretation of dreams, marked by great compassion, and dedicated to God’s will for him. All of this, coming in the middle of Lent, serves as a reminder that Jesus who became Christ was a historical person living in a particular place at a particular time. That history is part of the truth of the salvation that we celebrate.

2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16. God’s prophetic promise to David that his house will continue “forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.”

Psalm of the Day: Ps (88) 89
This psalm is attributed (in its words or its tune or both) to Ethan the Ezrahite, a very wise person mentioned in 1 Kings 4:31. This long psalm begins as a hymn in praise of God, faithful to the covenant, but then in verse 38 it turns into a lament that God has punished and even forgotten “David,” that is, the nation. The psalm, which ends Book III of the Book of Psalms, concludes with a doxology. Today’s selected verses come from the hymn part of this psalm.

The Son of David (Black) CBW 215
The Son of David (Currie) RS 119/WOR 1027
The Son of David (Guimont) GC2 954
Cantaré Eternamente (Martínez) FYC 228
Cantaré Eternamente/For Ever I Will Sing (Reza) FYC 229
For Ever I Will Sing (Haugen) CBW 448/GC 82/GC2 49/RS 118
For Ever I Will Sing (Kreutz) WC 423
For Ever I Will Sing (Ridge) GP 226
For Ever I Will Sing (Schoenbachler) GP 227
Forever Will I Sing (Bolduc) WC 424

Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22. In his defense of faith as primary even over Torah, Paul evokes the example of Abraham, “father of us all,” who believed in God’s promise. It was this act of faith, Paul says, that “was credited to him as righteousness.”

Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a. Joseph’s willingness to believe his dream makes possible his marriage to Mary and the provision of a home for the one who “will save his people from their sins.”
Luke 2:41-51a. The story of the finding of Jesus in the Temple with a play on the title “father” applied to Joseph (by Mary) and to God (by Jesus).

Other Songs for the Liturgy

As Joseph Lay Uneasy CH 172
By All Your Saints Still Striving WC 962/RS 887/WOR 706
By Name I Have Called You GP 582
Come Now, and Praise the Humble Saint GP 440/RS 875/WOR 694
Come, Sing a Home and Family WC 970
God of Adam, God of Joseph GC 893/GC2 870/RS 960
Happy Are They (Coller) CH 476
Happy Are They (Schoenbachler) JS 357
Holy Patron, Thee Saluting JS 258
Joseph, Be Our Guide and Pattern CBW 456/WOR 693
Joseph, Son of David BFW 316
O Blessed Saint Joseph CH 341
O Joseph, Mighty Patron WC 967
Our Father, by Whose Name CH 621/RS 961/WOR 570
Psalm 1: Happy Are They (Haas) GC 18
Psalm 1: Happy Are They (Thompson/Kennedy of Gelineau) RS 28
Psalm 1: Happy Are They Who Hope (Dufford) GC 167
Saint Joseph, Great Protector JS 257
Saint Joseph Was a Quiet Man CH 342
The Hands That First Held Mary’s Child WC 969
The Servant Song GC 669/GC2 661/WC 814
We Sing of the Saints WC 963