Abraham and Joseph: Known Rather than Noticed
Earner vs. Believer
The man who believes that he must earn favor with God and with others believes that his works must be noticed by others. Such a man will not allow his true self to shine – he attempts to maintain an image – in a word, he is an earner. But a man who believes that the Father loves him for who he is, good and bad, has faith in God and therefore will be made known by God.
Abraham: a True Believer
“For if Abraham was justified by works – he has something to boast about, but not before God. Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” (See Rom 4:1 and 5:9) Abraham was not an earner but rather a believer. Abraham did not make himself noticed by his works. Rather, God made Abraham known for his faith in God.
Faith: The Secret to a Successful Fatherhood
We waste a lot of time and energy on trying to be noticed. Faith releases the human father from the desire to be noticed. Faith empowers a father to believe that God will make him known, make him great, primarily by means of his vocation as husband and father. We hail Abraham for believing that God would make him a father of many nations despite the fact that he was childless and his “body was as good as dead.” (See Rom 4) Abraham had faith in God and God made Abraham known.
Joseph: The Unnoticed, Yet Most Known Father
Referring to Jesus, the Jews said, “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” (Matt 13:55) In his time, Joseph was known as a carpenter. But today, Joseph is not so much known for his artisan skills as he is known for being the man who fathered Jesus and was the husband of Mary. In the end, we will not be known so much for our talents, gifts, and occupational successes, as for how we fathered our children and loved our wives. Though believing himself unworthy to father the Son of God, Joseph had faith and believed that God could accomplish the impossible in him.
Good Fathers are Made Known by Good Children
Both Abraham and Joseph were made known by God for their faith in the heir promised to each of them, and each of their heirs made their fatherhood known to the world. Good fathers assist in raising good children, and good children help make their good fathers known. This doesn’t mean that there are no “rotten apples,” but what it does mean is that our vocation is one of humanity’s most important roles.
Your Hidden Fatherhood Will be Made Known
Abraham and Joseph are known for their fatherhood, and if we respond to our vocation of fatherhood, we will be glorified as fathers by glorifying the Father. As our Lord said, “For nothing is hid that shall not be revealed, nor anything secret that shall not be known.” (Luke 8:17) Your hidden fatherhood will be revealed by God.