A St. Joseph’s Day message from the SVdP-Chicago Volunteer President, Harry Ohde:
St. Joseph’s Day
Celebrating the Greatest Father Figure
We gather together at the table to feast in celebration of the greatest step-father known to mankind; St. Joseph, Jesus’ step-father.
St. Joseph, the patron saint of workers, who was a life long partner of Mary, watching over both Mary and Jesus. No questions asked, he answered God’s call to be a father to our Savior. His example of a father figure is celebrated throughout the world on St. Joseph’s Day.
Amidst the mass, wearing red, and the over abundance of food presented at St. Joseph’s tables, let’s take a moment to consider the meaning of a father, or step-father as you will.
Many of us know the experience and feeling of getting married. Together with this person we love and are dedicated to, we witness the joy of bringing a child into the world. Watching that child grow, and at times seeing yourself in that child. Whether it be the same eyes, the whimsical look or common gestures, you see yourself in this child. This miracle that is a part of you. How can you not love and protect them? You spend many years teaching them, watching over them, and making them a priority. Afterall, that is what being a parent is all about.
Now, imagine a young woman with child and you take on the responsibility to be her husband, and help raise her child. You escort her across the dessert and settle on a manger as the birthplace. Helpless in some ways, yet called to love and protect, you witness the birth of a child you did not create. From before the moment this child is born, you love them. You spend the rest of your days putting this child first, guided by God’s wisdom, you remain attentive, loving and caring to this child and his mother. That is the true meaning of a father – unconditional love.
As we prepare for our St. Joseph’s Day celebrations, let us keep in mind, and maybe rethink the phrase step-father. Maybe step is not intended to “remove” the connection, maybe it is meant to mean “stepping up to the plate”. Dedicating yourself to someone else for the greater cause of all mankind.
May you be blessed always, and may your hearts always be thankful for St. Joseph answering his call – stepping up to the plate.
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