The Eleventh of the Twelve Days of Christmas

Here's yet another fine sculpture from the studio of Timothy Schmalz. Titled, St. Joseph the Worker and Child, there's an exchange of glances here that is telling - but what does it tell?

Joseph is looking quite serious; is he worried? perturbed? confused?

The Child's face is filled with emotion, too: is he pleading? understanding? wondering?

We know very little of the relationship shared by Jesus and Joseph. Did Jesus grow up as Joseph's apprentice? What ordinary, human father-and-son dynamics marked their relationship? What did Joseph make of his son who left the workbench to become a preacher?

Only Mary and Jesus shared a relationship more rare than the one shared by the Lord and his foster father...

we wonder at your love and care for Mary
and for her son, Jesus...

Our prayer leads our imagination
to see you teaching Jesus how to use
the simplest tools of your trade...

How proud you must have been
of what he crafted from his hands by your side...

Certainly your heart ached
as does every father's heart
to give him that blessing that only a father
can give to his son...

And in turn, your son had a blessing for you
in return for your trust in God,
your fidelity to Mary,
your care for your holy family...

Joseph, bless all fathers in this holy season
and bless the gifts that are theirs to share
with their children
and in a special way the blessing that is theirs
to bestow on their sons...

Joseph, mysterious man of faith,
foster father of Jesus, hidden from our view,
be at our side as you were with Jesus
and with his Mother
and bless the work that is ours
in the new year ahead...


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