Friday, the 17th week of Ordinary Time
Mass at noon: Tuesday - Friday
Saturday at 5:00 - Sunday at 9:00 and 11:15am
When the people gather for prayer, all are welcome.
Saint of the day - John Vianney
Readings for today’s Mass
Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus, gets precious little attention in the gospels. He is hardly more than a footnote. One thing we know is one of the things that got Jesus pigeonholed and looked down on. "Isn't he the carpenter's son?"
Traditionally, we’ve always thought of Joseph's social role as that of a carpenter. A small business owner. We further suggested that he was a skilled craftsman, a cabinet maker and fine woodworker. Scripture tells us nothing about that. Today, some would argue that the Greek noun, tektōn, (τέκτων), might be nuanced a little differently to see Joseph, not as a carpenter, but a handyman, a Mr. Fix-it, a Jack-of-all-trades. A lesser avocation than an artisan. Surely he didn't command a salary to pay for housing in Bethlehem when Jesus was born.
What Joseph did, or what Jesus grew up learning from him is also a footnote, but for the fact that they was held to a certain standard based on what they did. Think of it as a way to keep people in a box. So when Jesus is acting outside of the box, others are at a loss. They say things like: We know him. We know his parents and his siblings, all of that family. He belongs to the carpenter, the Mr. Fix-it's kid. What is he think he is doing? That's what we sometimes call pigeonholed.
We also do that with each other. It's when we know something about someone or we pick up on a certain trait someone has and then use it in jest or in derision. It's when someone's name is associated with a behavior - you did a jon-ism.. Has it ever happened to you?
One of the things Jesus tried to do was make sure everyone got a fair shake without regard for what we think we know about someone; where they came from or how they pray. This kind of "type-ism" has no place in the kingdom, but it often goes on in the name of the kingdom. The Grace Sisters have a great understanding of it expressed in their song, In My Name You Shall Love. The song lists all kinds of things we do in His name when there is really just one thing we shall do in His name. Listen to the song and reflect on the lyrics. Is there anyone in your life whom you know as just the carpenters son?