by Sr. Jo Anne Kelly MMM Ireland 01.05.2022
Every morning I take an early walk. Many people are out at that time, staff hurrying for duty in the hospital and others like me just taking a walk- One especially, he is an elderly man with a little brown and white dog. That little dog is so inquisitive. He has to investigate everything on the way- everything- corners, stones, gateways, cracks in the pavement, litter. He hops up unto the grassy patch and investigates the tufts of grass, sniffs every dandelion and daisy. What I admire is the patience of the owner. Though he has him on a lead, he never pulls him back. I said to him one day “Your little dog is very inquisitive” “O yes” he said “He has to check out everything for himself before he decides if it is worth going after”
Maybe that is how God, our loving Father is with us. While holding us in His hand, He gives us the freedom to search for what we think we need or what will make us happy. And we do search, often in the wrong places. When Jesus was on earth he too had to constantly pray and search so as always to know the Will of his Father. As a child He had St. Joseph to guide Him.
Today we are celebrating the feast of St Joseph the Worker, Joseph, the one chosen by God to be a father to His Son and to guide Him and teach Him. St. Joseph was the village carpenter who earned an honest living to provide for his family and taught his son his trade. I have a lovely picture of St. Joseph at his work bench in his carpenter’s shed with his hands placed as if he is hammering something. But his eye is cast down looking at his little Son Jesus, just a toddler, trying to imitate what his Father is doing. He is holding a piece of stick and trying to hammer it into the floor. Joseph watches tenderly, he knows his boy will not succeed but he lets him try.
Pope Francis, speaks of St Joseph as an exemplary figure for our time, the father who teaches the value, the dignity and the joy of work. He speaks of the great need today for fathers able to introduce children to life and reality, to allow them to enjoy freedom, explore new possibilities, to develop talents and abilities and put them at the service of society. Those who work, somehow cooperate with God and become creators of the world, needed so much today to protect the earth and care for God’s creation.
The Pope continues “No one should be without work. Employment gives the person a dignity.”
It also gives one a sense of purpose and achievement, a reason to get up in the morning.
Let us by our daily tasks live our faith in the actions of every day and, like the little dog, check out what is worth going after to help us make our world a better place. May St. Joseph be with us in our search.