At the moment of his greatest axiological probation, when St. Joseph’s soul was torn apart by perplexity, his Guardian Angel supported him since the trial was very hard.
Newsdesk (June 21, 20021, 08:30 Gaudium Press) St. Joseph decided that evening to leave. At the usual time for going to bed, he packed his bags. He intended to get up at dawn and depart.
When the trial had reached its peak, and the man of God was already serenely asleep, the Holy Custodian stopped him: “While he was thus thinking, behold, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream” (Mt 1:20a).
The Angel revealed to him in a dream all the wonders contained in that mystery, in which his role was not yet clear to him:
“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your Spouse, for what has been conceived in her comes from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son, and you shall name him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. All this has happened that what the Lord has spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled: ‘Behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel’ (Is 7:14), which means: God with us.” (Mt 1:20b-23)
Heavenly help in the utmost hour
Who might the angel in the dream have been? It seems inconceivable that it was anyone other than St. Joseph’s own Guardian Angel.
Given the unique mission of his protégé, he can only be one of the “seven Spirits of God” (Rev 4:5) “who are before his throne” (Rev 1:4), and of whom we know St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael. We could give him the biblical name of Asahel (cf. II Sam 2:12-23.30; 23:24; I Chron 2:16; 11:26; 27:7), which in the Hebrew language means “God has made”.
God established the covenant with David, and St. Joseph, his last descendant, fulfilled it. He was appointed to be the depositary of this covenant as the virginal father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In him, “God acted” to fulfill the promise. And for this, the intervention of St. Asahel was decisive.
What would be his role over time, beyond this particular episode?
What is the role of St. Asahel?
Considering his role in this and other important moments in St. Joseph’s life, everything indicates that, in the course of history, St. Asahel helps men to bear their struggles with the serenity of soul, righteousness, and a heart set on God’s will.
It applies, particularly, to providential men in the hardships of loneliness or misunderstanding. That perplexity was a personal battle of the Holy Patriarch, who needed to overcome it to become worthy of the specific mission God had given him.
And St. Asahel made sure that he would be faithful. So, when the trial had come to its limits, it was he who came to comfort him. It also was his duty to console Our Lord, in His most Holy Humanity, in the Garden of Olives (cf. Lk 22:43).
He is not an angel who consoles by putting an end to the trial but who comforts to embrace suffering and face it in a well-disposed way.
Therefore, he is an angel of combat, but differently than the Archangel St. Michael. The latter provides the vision of the fight for the children of light and, as in the prælium magnum at the beginning of creation (cf. Rev 12:7), commands the combat, motivates the troops, and leads the others.
On the other hand, St. Asahel would participate directly in the struggle and settles the battle himself.
Due to this distinction, St. Michael is more bound to Our Lord, who, as King, directs and plans. St. Gabriel, who appears in the most significant moments of Our Lady’s life, is united to Her. Both of them are enchanting; they show the sublime side of the fight for God.
Finally, St. Asahel enters into the struggle. One can say, in this perspective, that St. Joseph is a man strongly linked to the battles for good and called to help those who fight them.
Little seen as a warrior, in reality, he should be evoked as an authentic crusader, sword in hand, helping Christians in the struggles of life.
It is a historical fact that when God wants great faith from someone, he does not give him clear signs of his action. The way he dealt with Gideon, for example, was for someone who did not have this calling: the angel’s apparition to him is very clear, and the signs are evident (cf. Judges 6:11-24).
Since St. Joseph was required to have super-excellent faith, the angel manifested himself in a dream, and he had to believe in this apparently small sign that Providence was sending him.
Upon awakening, he remembered the message perfectly and, believing it to be a mystical revelation, St. Joseph fully adhered to it, as it was God’s message!
Now, if he had not believed, he would not have accomplished his mission. Fidelity to the voice of God delicately announced through St. Asahel confirmed this mission forever.
Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, EP.
Text from the book Saint Joseph: Who knows him?…