The Choices of Master Samwise
Editor’s Note: Apologies for the delay in publishing, which was caused by unexpected medical complications.
In today’s Lord of the Ring’s passage we read:
‘No, it’s sit here till they come and kill me over master’s body, and gets It; or take It and go.’ Sam drew a deep breath. ‘Then take It, it is!'”
And in today’s Scripture we hear:
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.” (Matthew 1:18-21, 24)
It is the Solemnity of St. Joseph during the Year of St. Joseph–therefore, consider St. Joseph. The Husband of Mary, the Foster Father of Jesus, Joseph says speaks no words in all of Scripture, and performs few deeds: accepting Mary, traveling to Bethlehem, finding Jesus in the Temple. What then do we learn from him? The profundity of holy anonymity. The wonder of playing one’s part in the divine plan, however small it seems. And also, the nature of intention. Joseph, like Sam, choose there course of actions as righteous people; it took a sign from above, whether delivered by orcs or angels, to help them forge a different way. The original intention matters: Sam prevents the Enemy from finding the Ring, Joseph preserves the links between the Old and New Law. But when presented with another path, Joseph and Sam both change, out of love for someone else. During this Year of St. Joseph, may we always pursue the best intentions, but always be willing to give more for those we love.
Want to Read More?
Year A: On One’s Own Folly and Acknowledging Our Grief
Year B: On Choice
Year C: On the Enigmatic Empathy for the Forces of the Enemy and Mistakes Were Made