There is a scene in the movie The Nativity Story, with Keisha Castle-Hughes and Oscar Isaac, where, immediately following the birth of Christ, a joyous St. Joseph holds the infant within his hands, raising him high in the air.
In watching this, it occurred to me that St. Joseph was the first priest. I was struck by the similarities between St. Joseph in the manger and the priest at the altar, both holding the living Christ within their hands, faces joyfully exultant at the wonder of His beauty and the awesome privilege of holding our very Savior in the air. Without speaking a word, St. Joseph seems to say "Behold! Here is the Lamb!" These are the very words that the priest voices out loud at each and every Mass. St. Joseph was the first man to have the honor of holding Jesus close, to love and nurture Jesus within his own heart as the Catholic priest is called to do. St. Joseph shared Jesus with the shepherds and kings in the manger as the Catholic priest shares Him with the poor and the rich at Mass. How blessed we are by the holy, obedient, faith-filled, loving example of St. Joseph!
St. Joseph, the first priest, pray for us!
Prayer to St. Joseph over 1900 years old -from Pieta prayer bookO St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw My dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen.