Just for this moment, imagine Joseph’s heart.

Try putting yourself in this silent man’s place…

Joseph loved Mary dearly, and together they nursed their dreams about the future, about raising a family together, and perhaps spending many years in Nazareth together.

And then, out of nowhere, Mary’s pregnancy and an implausible story to explain it!

What would you think if you were in his place?

How would you feel?

Without a doubt, Joseph was a brokenhearted man. He couldn’t believe Mary’s story (would you?). He was probably also angry, believing that he had been betrayed by the love of his life.

Dealing with betrayal is never an easy thing. It is a crime that not everyone can commit; only those we love and trust, only those we’ve given the power can hurt us. That’s why it damages us so deeply–and so traumatically.

Dante Alighieri, in his The Divine Comedy, imagines hell to consist of nine concentric circles. For the poet, betrayal is the worst and most unforgivable of sins. This is why the innermost circle of hell–the place where Satan himself is forever frozen in a lake–is reserved exclusively for traitors.

Stay awhile with Joseph, putting yourself in his place and imagining what might have been going on in his heart.

You may wish to play this piece of music as you contemplate on this image of the hurting and angry man.


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Music: Julian Lloyd Webber’s “Serenade”