St. Joseph of Arimathea – Growing in Virtues
This name is intriguing, we hear about him in all 4 Gospel as the one who buried Jesus.
But there’s more. His feast day is on March 17, today! There’s a family activity at the end but first, here’s some facts about this Saint.
– According to all four Gospels, he was a secret disciple of Jesus.
– He was virtuous, rich and in designating him a “member of the council,” Mark 15:43 and Luke 23:50 suggests his membership in the Great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.
– In Robert de Boron’s verse romance Joseph d’Arimathie (c. 1200), he is entrusted with the Holy Grail (cup) of the Last Supper.
But what can we learn from the example of Joseph?
Here are a few quick thoughts on why Joseph’s example is useful for us today:
Don’t be swayed by the crowd:
Joseph had faith in Jesus and was considered a disciple. This happened despite him being a member of the Sanhedrin, who were, as a group, bitterly opposed to Christ. However, Joseph held to his belief in Jesus and had faith in Him despite his surroundings. There will be crosses :Joseph risked everything in asking Pilate for the body of Jesus. Jesus said in Luke 9:24 “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it.
Surrender to God’s will and keep sowing virtues :
Joseph didn’t know anything about the crucification of Jesus yet he was blessed to have the privilege of burying Him according to custom. When the time came, Joseph stepped out in faith. While Jesus’ twelve disciples were scattered, Joseph was in the right position, the right place, and acted at just the right time.
Here’s an activity to do with your family:
Sowing seeds of good values:
1. Take small cartons or pots, fill them with some mud or cocopeat, plant some seeds from your local nursery ( alternatively, you could use fenugreek or mustard from the kitchen).
2. Label each pot based on a virtue you want to grow in.
What does it mean?
This simple act of planting, watering them (nurture them) and watching them grow, is much like St Joseph of Arimathea putting Jesus in a tomb and awaiting the resurrection.
When Joseph of Arimathea had the opportunity, he stepped up. I hope this small gardening exercise that doesn’t need much space, will help explain virtues to your children.
For more activity ideas in March do visit
Thanks to contributions from Deepa Lucia Julian.