Lessons From Saint Joseph The Carpenter
Every carpenter must practice patience. We can learn important lessons from the wood shop in Nazareth from the humble Saint Joseph.
Author Alex Basile serves as the Religion Department Chairman at Kellenberg Memorial High School and has written nine books for Saint Pauls Alba House.(www.alexbasile.net)
I have always been a "do it yourself" type of guy thanks to my father. My dad is always a steady presence during my home-improvement projects. He offers not only his expertise but his spiritual advice as well. I seem to approach each project with the same attitude.
I think to myself, "How soon can I finish this project?" My father quickly pulls me back to reality. He speaks with the patience of the true carpenter who knows the importance of planning and contemplating your next move
I slapped on my goggles, face mask and gloves as I prepared to insulate the rafters of the attic. In the best of circumstances you can imagine how difficult it is to work with gear that obstructs your view.
As I muttered under and over my breath, my father calmly reminded me that I should not allow my frustration to get the best of me. Even though the sagging insulation tried to prove the contrary, his voice became a prayer to this weary worker.
As my back ached and the years of dust in my attic consumed me, I couldn't help but ponder the relationship of a master carpenter and his young son in Nazareth.
The mature Joseph must have spent many days tutoring young Jesus in the carpenter's shop. During the most frustrating times, Joseph would guide his apprentice. Joseph knew the pain of the splinters. He felt the cuts from the lack of concentration. He lived through the hottest days, when the midday sun scorched the back of his neck.
I am sure that Joseph used these quiet moments to teach his son some of life's most important lessons. The carpenter's shop would provide the opportunity for unique father-and-son time. Because God had emptied Himself and took human form, the young Jesus thirsted for wisdom as every other young person.
I am sure Jesus studied the face of his foster father as he practiced his craft. The solace of the master carpenter surely could have been on the mind of Jesus in Gethsemane and on Calvary. Saint Joseph played an important role in molding his young heart and mind.
On this Feast day of Saint Joseph, we should remember that a good teacher takes advantage of every moment to enlighten his or her students. Every parent knows more than his or her children at first, but may learn the greatest lessons from those younger as life progresses.
We must approach every person as a carpenter takes each raw piece of wood in his hands. We, too, can build each relationship into something beautiful to behold. Demonstrate the skill of the master carpenter with passion and grace. Anything worth building takes time to complete.
Treat each day as Saint Joseph. Measure twice and cut once. Contemplate, then act. May the peace and grace of the gentle carpenter be with you always. Happy Saint Joseph's Day!
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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