Today is the feast day of St. Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary and the earthly father of Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:18-25 tells the story of how Mary was found to be with child during their engagement, and Joseph, after being told in a dream that the child was from the Holy Spirit, married her anyways. In today’s world, where adoptions and blended families abound, and where our cultural values support choosing one’s family, we are not shocked by Joseph’s actions. However, in first century Judea, it would be nearly unthinkable for a man to honor an engagement to a woman found to be with child. Joseph’s humility and obedience would have subjected him to cultural shame. While we are more accepting of blended families than Joseph’s culture was, still many Christian values are at odds with our culture. Thus sometimes we may find ourselves in a similar situation to Joseph, where our faith or our obedience to God produces cultural shame. However, rather than calling us to look to Joseph in those instances, instead I will point us to Jesus Christ, who endured the shame of the cross, and more than that, scorned the shame of the cross, and now sits at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus’s death and resurrection conquered both his shame and ours and gives us the strength to persevere when we find our faith at odds with those around us (Hebrews 12:1-3).