If you were to compare the life of the Patriarch Joseph in the Book of Genesis to the life of St. Joseph in the Gospels, you would find some remarkable similarities. Both had a father named Jacob, both experienced God speaking to them in dreams, both were born elsewhere but lived in Egypt for a while, and both were
entrusted with an important task involving bread.
In the Book of Genesis, the Patriarch Joseph interpreted for Pharaoh a dream that predicted seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Impressed by his wisdom and knowledge of God’s will, Pharaoh put the Patriarch Joseph in charge of the production and storage of wheat during the years of plenty so that the people of Egypt, and indeed the people of the whole world,
would have enough bread to eat during the years of famine. This the Patriarch Joseph did, and during the years of famine, hearing their cries for bread, Pharaoh instructed the people thus: “Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do.” “Go to Joseph;” in Latin, Ite ad Joseph. This command has taken on new meaning over the centuries as devotion has grown to St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus. “Go to Joseph:” For just as Pharaoh put the Patriarch Joseph in charge of guarding the wheat in Egypt so that the people would have bread to eat, so God put St. Joseph in charge of guarding Jesus, the Bread of Life, so that one day we might eat of Him and have eternal life.
Next year on November 7th we will be celebrating our 175th anniversary as a parish. In consultation with our staff, as well as our pastoral and finance councils, we have decided to purchase a statue of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as a memorial of this special anniversary. St. Joseph is the prominent figure in this statute. Jesus is turned toward him with a gaze of loving respect and admiration. The Blessed Virgin is holding Jesus by the hand, leading Him to His foster father, as if to say, “Go to Joseph.” Our plan is to place this life-size statue in the island at the end of the
canopy that covers the main entrance to the parish. The Holy Family will be the first ones to greet our parishioners and visitors as they enter our church. “Go to Joseph,” they will say. As we celebrate the feast day of our patron saint this weekend, let
us continue to ask the intercession of St. Joseph. Let us go to Joseph, for there we will find Jesus and the Blessed Mother too.