Eventually Joseph made a choice - a painful one for him but probably the least harmful one for her. Difficult though it may be, he would quietly let her free to go.
Separation was not, however, God’s plan for them. The Son of God was to be born in a normal family, one with a mother and a father. So God sends his angel to speak to Joseph and give him some light. As often happens in the bible, the angel of God speaks to Joseph in a dream. “Do not be afraid”, were the first words that he told him. God knows that fear paralyses us. Moved by fear, we cannot do any good. Do not be afraid, not by being naïve or not taking into account the consequences or dangers of one’s actions. It is rather an invitation to trust God. If God wants something from you, He is going to help you to see it through. Like Mary, Joseph probably did not understand how all this was happening. All he knew was that God was asking something from him, something beyond any human comprehension. And he believed, and he trusted.
We do not hear much more about Joseph in the gospel after this story. It seems that, for the evangelists, this is enough. This is all we need to know about St Joseph, and this is what he wants to teach us. In a nutshell, we can say that Joseph is a man who wanted to do God’s will in his life, and trusted God when he understood what this was.
In times of difficulty we too, like St Joseph, might feel tempted to let everything go. In those moments let us allow those words of the angel to echo in our hearts: do not be afraid. After all, what we are celebrating these days is the feast of the Emmanuel - God is with us. It is the celebration of a God who became one like us, in everyway but sin, as St Paul would say, never to abandon us alone.