Pastoral Thought





            There are many stories of the Christmas season in our faith. The angel’s announcement to Mary begins it all; the Joyful Mysteries are all Christmas stories; so are Joseph’s dream, the Magi’s journey, King Herod, the flight into Egypt and more. We should tell them all to our children, and send Christmas cards that display them.              

            As you unwrap the joy of the season with those you love, I invite you to dwell on the story of Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus. Joseph represents many men among us who take on responsibility for a child they did not beget, but whom they truly ‘father’. How does a man father a child? Is the act of physically begetting—without accepting the responsibility of raising the child—really fatherhood? We need Joseph badly in today’s society.

            You can picture Joseph showing Jesus the skills of his carpenter-mechanic trade. Probably they both made the round-trip weekly to labor at the construction site of Caesarea, a new Roman City, built in the ‘teens and 20’s B.C. When an older man mentors a young man, even if he is not the flesh and blood father, he is still doing a father’s job.

            For obvious reasons we need many mentors today, whether it is part of your job or a volunteer service. More about this soon—mentoring is a modest realization of Joseph’s calling.

Father John Hynes