Young Manhood of Jesus ~ Sanctifying the Ordinary
As Jesus grew older He noticed St. Joseph growing more tired, so He took over more and more of the work. He did it gradually and unobtrusively, so that St. Joseph would always feel that he was still the head of the family and the main support.
The days for Jesus now became very full of work and activity. He carried lumber, sawed, hammered, measured, fit together the finished products and carried them to those who ordered them.
There were annoyances, too, as with all who serve the public. He had to change His plans to suit their convenience would accept complaints when they felt the work wasn’t done correctly.
And then there was the monotony of small-town living. He could feel Himself hemmed in by small talk and gossip, by small-town thinking and the wearisome routine.
Often as He came to the edge of the hill that overlooked Esdralon, He thought of the world that was hungry for His coming. He thought of the crowds He could sway with His sermons, the miracles He could perform … And then He turned and went back to His work!
Dear Lord, humanly speaking, how You longed to go out to that world that needed You so much! How tempted would anyone else have been to leave Nazareth and the carpenter shop, and simply blaze a trail of miracles from Jerusalem to Rome!
But, O my King, You were teaching us still that greatness does not consist in outward show but in faithful devotion and love. What a wonderful lesson for us !
We couldn’t imitate Your miracles, but we can follow You in Your faithful devotion to duty. You were just as great at Nazareth in performing the ordinary duties of a carpenter as You were in Your miracles and great sermons. It’s not what we do, but how we do it that counts.
My King, what a lesson for me. The monotony of everyday life makes me so listless and discouraged. “If only I were doing big things and important things! But these petty, insignificant duties—what good do I accomplish with these?”
And because I feel this way I become careless and unhappy. O my King, in these moments take me back to Nazareth! Show me there that nothing is ordinary when it is done in a spirit of Nazareth.
The smallest, most insignificant duties are great when they are done with fidelity and love. Teach me that spirit of faithful love. Let me live Nazareth day by day, and then… nothing will be ordinary.
Prayer for Workers
Oh glorious St. Joseph! Model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance for the expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty above my own inclination; to work with thankfulness and joy, considering it an honor to employ and develop by work the gifts received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, never shrinking from weariness and trials; to work especially with pure intention and detachment from self, keeping unceasingly before my eyes death and the account I must give of time lost, talents unused, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God.
All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, O patriarch Joseph; Such shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.
Indulgence of 300 days.
“I do not know any among the ordinary conditions of life as good and desirable as that of a life of service or of daily labor. A life of labor has always been considered, by spiritual persons, most favorable to the soul. The labor of the hands is, then, a source of blessing. It furnishes a great help to spending life in innocence. It fills up our time with holiest industry, while it leaves the soul free to raise itself from time to time to God.” -Rev. George Deshon, 1863
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