Father to Jesus
Yesterday I was at the beach with my nieces and nephews who were doing ‘Nippers’. Somehow, the older ones had set up my shade tent just to the side of the littlies group! Not the best place for reading but a good place to spot what the parents, especially the fathers, were up to: they were watching. Three fathers simply standing there, occasionally joining in when needed, quietly watching their kids run, jump and tumble. So simple and yet so important.
This week we celebrate the Feast of St Joseph, foster father of Jesus. I have a great devotion to St Joseph but ask me what he did that was dramatic and special and I’d have to say, not much. Not much that the world would take notice of. But any art works of him show him doing the simple ordinary things that parents do every day: watching over the children while they play, teaching them how to do things around the house, just being there giving a cuddle. Things that you parents do every day, day in a day out.
This feast celebrates not just St Joseph but the sacredness of ordinary parenting, the day to day works that can sometimes seem like drudgery but which the love of a parent makes holy and special. Take time to savour the beauty of your role, to appreciate the joy and responsibility you have in fostering life and love in your children. Yes, the times of challenge will be there and may, at times, feel like swamping you – that is part of the passion of parenting. All the more reason to hold on to and appreciate the simple times of being together.
Loving Father, thank you for my child/ren and the role that I have in their lives. May I give myself joyfully and lovingly to them and may your wise Spirit guide me when I feel overwhelmed by the challenge. I ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb