June 25, 2021

Serra Club Vocations Essay

The story of St. Joseph is an inspiring example of saying yes to God

By Ansley Bishop (Special to The Criterion)

Ansley BishopSt. Joseph is often overlooked when one talks about the saints in the Catholic faith.

However, St. Joseph is one of the most important saints in that he dedicated his life to protecting and caring for Jesus and saying yes to God. He agreed to stay with Mary so that Jesus would have a complete family and that Mary would not be a single parent.

He said yes to God when God asked him to flee to Egypt so that Herod wouldn’t kill Jesus. St. Joseph lived an inspirational life and, through him saying yes to God, shows us that, though we may be afraid to turn our lives to Jesus and Mary, they will help guide us.

By saying yes to God, St. Joseph gave up control and allowed himself to be a piece in God’s salvation story. He was close to divorcing Mary when the archangel Gabriel told him to trust Mary.

St. Joseph could have decided to divorce Mary anyway, but he knew God needed him. He put his full trust in God, and never doubted his plan.

After Jesus was born, St. Joseph had a dream in which an angel warned him to take his family to Egypt instead of staying in Israel. He understood that God was reaching out to him for a reason.

St. Joseph did not know God’s plan for him but, by trusting God and saying yes, he became the foster father of Jesus Christ and the husband of the Virgin Mary. He is the perfect example of how we should say yes to God in our own lives.

St. Joseph’s story is exemplary in how we should say yes to God and our faith in our own lives. Joseph was not selfish, doubtful or scared to say yes, so neither should we be. He inspires me to allow Jesus and Mary to take the lead in my life instead of always being in control.

There are moments when what I want conflicts with what Jesus and Mary want for me. However, it is in these moments where Joseph opened himself to God and his grace. It may be as simple as reading Scripture and meditating on the lesson of the passage, or praying to God and asking for guidance before making a decision. It is difficult to give up control, but I trust that I am being led in the right direction.

St. Joseph said yes to God and allowed himself to be a part of God’s plan. Giving God control of our lives can only lead to salvation and deeper faith, though it may seem challenging at times. However, we, too, must say yes like St. Joseph did and give ourselves over to the Lord.

(Ansley and her parents, Mike and Mary Kay Bishop, are members of SS. Francis and Clare of Assisi Parish in Greenwood. She recently completed the 10th grade at Roncalli High School in Indianapolis and is the 10th-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2021 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

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