Time and time again over the next few hours, Joseph had to quell his instinct to protect Mary. She had become his other half, as Heli said, and to hear her suffering was more than he could bear. Joseph began to pray; however, the words were barely out of his mouth when he heard another cry, a different one: it was the cry of a babe, a newborn. Struck by the sound of it, Joseph stood up and made his way to the stall where he left Mary. There he found his wife, sitting on the stool. She was dressed in her undergarments only; her legs were uncovered and there was blood on the nearby straw; yet she was wearing the biggest smile he had ever seen. She gazed up at him and that’s when he noticed the bundle in her arms.
Her son, he thought, then corrected himself: their son…the Mashiac. Apprehension gripped his heart once again.
Mary moved the blanket away from the child’s face as Joseph stepped closer to her. Reminding himself of his father-in-law’s words, he took in a deep breath and knelt beside Mary. She leaned into him, so he could take a closer look at the boy. He was small, pink and wrinkled, with a head full of black hair.
“Isn’t he beautiful?” Mary whispered.
Having been struck speechless, all Joseph could do was nod. Foolishly, he had imagined the child would be born with the full wisdom of a man and the knowledge of his destiny. And maybe somewhere in his consciousness, the babe was aware of it. For now, though, he was simply a child, perfect in shape and form, just as G-d created him. He would fulfill his calling in time; until then, Joseph would accomplish his and be the boy’s father.
“What will you call him?” the woman asked.
“Jesus,” he replied, gently stroking the child’s head.
(Excerpt from Full of Grace).