The tenth of the Twelve Days of Christmas

Father by Timothy Schmalz

The Twelve Days begin on Christmas Day and end on January 5, the day before the traditional date for Epiphany.  On these 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany, we'll look at some images of Mary and Joseph and Jesus.  For previous entries, click here. 
 Twelve Days 2012
The Tenth of the Twelve Days of Christmas:  Thursday, January 3

Here's yet another fine sculpture from the studio of Timothy Schmalz. Simply titled, Father, there's an exchange of glances here that is telling - but what does it tell?

Joseph is looking quite serious.  Is he worried? mystified? confused?

The Child Jesus seems more content, understanding, at peace...

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 an itinerant preacher?

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

we wonder and marvel 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 with his own hands,
standing by your side...

Certainly your heart ached
to give him that blessing that only a father
can give to his son;
but Jesus was yours, and not yours
and another's blessing was already upon him...

But in turn, Jesus had a blessing for you
in return for your trust in his Father,
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 sons...

Help fathers and sons to live and grow in peace,
the peace you shared with Jesus,
the peace he shared with you... 

As the gift of a father's blessing
is so important for a son,
so give all fathers your blessing
and strengthen them in God's love...

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's ours
in the new year ahead...



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