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JOSEPH,                                EXEMPL AR OF PRIESTS
                                                              BLESSED SACRAMENT
                                                     of the

                                                                                   Bro. Amiel Joseph B. Sevilla, OSJ

                               “If I were a Roman Catholic theologian, I would lift St. Joseph up.
                                   He took care of the Child; he takes care of the Church.”
                                               Karl Barth, Calvinist theologian

              ROM THE LATE 19TH CENTURY AND 20TH CENTURY ONWARDS, the Church has been a witness to
              some significant developments in the theology and devotion to St. Joseph highlighted by official Church
         Fdocuments and proclamations such as Quemadmodum Deus, Inclytum Patriarcham, Quamquam Pluries,
          Redemptoris Custos, and Paternas Vices. However, the epigraph of this article unreservedly implies that the
          Catholic Church still lacks reflection and recognition to this dependable man whom God entrusted to be the
          Guardian of His greatest treasures.  This is such a weighty statement from a notable non-Catholic theologian
          who saw Mariology as the arch-heresy of Rome. To note, Josephology, unlike Mariology, is not even a required
          course in the curriculum for priesthood. On the positive side, this dilemma encourages the possibility of
          further reflection on the person and mission of St. Joseph not only during his life with the Holy Family but
          also in the life of the Church today.

          This article discusses important points in the official titles given to St. Joseph as Guardian of the Redeemer
          and Patron of the Universal Church. The brief discourse on these specific points opens up a new horizon of
          reflection as this article suggests two unofficial titles of St. Joseph as Protector of the Blessed Sacrament and,
          in relation with the latter, Exemplar of Priests.

          Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer
          “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took his wife (cf. Mt 1:24).”

          The mission of Joseph as Guardian of the Redeemer lies on his fatherhood to Jesus. In turn, his being the
          father of Jesus is rooted from his being the husband of Mary since he is not Jesus’ biological father. “As can
          be deduced from the gospel texts, Joseph’s marriage to Mary is the juridical basis of his fatherhood.”  Had
          Joseph refused to pursue taking Mary as his wife as commanded by the angel of the Lord, he is not to be
          honored as Guardian of the Redeemer.

          However, this dependence on taking Mary as his wife in order to be the guardian of the redeemer must
          not diminish the importance of Joseph’s fiat to the will of God. Joseph is not merely a contingent part in
          the salvific plan of God. It is through him that Jesus acquired his Davidic lineage as prophesied in the Old
          Testament. Jesus obtains his natural humanity from Mary while he obtains his legal and historical humanity
          from Joseph. Joseph’s being chosen to be the Guardian of the Redeemer is not by chance but is according to
          God’s plan just like Mary’s being chosen to be the Mother of Jesus.

          Though Joseph is not present during the climax of the redemptive act of Jesus, that is, Christ’s passion,
          death, and resurrection, he is still considered as the Guardian of the Redeemer because the Incarnation and
          Redemption constitute an organic and indissoluble unity, in which “the plan of revelation is realized by words
          and deeds which are intrinsically bound up with each other,”  and Joseph was chosen “to look after the Son
          of God’s ‘ordained’ entry into the world, in accordance with divine dispositions and human laws. All of  the
          so-called ‘private’ or ‘hidden’ life of Jesus is entrusted to Joseph’s guardianship.” 4
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