On Joseph

March 12, 2010

Let the conversation begin????? Okay. I’m not particularly clear on the difference between a db and a blog, but Tony I’d love to “converse” here from time to time. So here goes: From the Sacred Space website’s prayer reflection this week: (I’ve been mulling this over). Got any thoughts?

Next week the church remembers St Joseph, husband of Mary and foster-father of Jesus. Sartre, in his Christmas play Barjona, tries to picture Joseph in the stable at Bethlehem. “I would not paint Joseph. I would show no more than a shadow at the back of the stable, and two shining eyes. For I do not know what to say about Joseph, and Joseph does not know what to say about himself. He adores, and is happy to adore, and he feels himself slightly out of it. I believe he suffers without admitting it. He suffers because he sees how much this woman whom he loves resembles God; how she is already at the side of God. For God has burst like a bomb into the intimacy of this family. Joseph and Mary are separated forever by this explosion of light. And I imagine that all through his life Joseph will be learning to accept this.”

I don’t “get” the last three sentences, but I can’t quite work out why. Apart from the Mary portrayed as almost quasi-divine, which worries me no end as one who wants her as a very human role model, it’s probably also the first time I’ve seen the reverse of treating women as second-class citizens. This seems to be putting Joseph into the role of inferior being. And what’s this stuff about “learning to accept this”?.

With due respect to the unknown author of this reflection, you reckon he is drawing a long bow? I’m posting this here because I would love a nice but not too intellectual chat about it with some gospel-centred sort of bloke I can relate to, who might also have some thoughts about the human psychology behind this “take” on the story. If this isn’t what blogs are about – sorry, and I promise I won’t do it again.

Or, of course you could start up another category…