st. joseph: service in obscurity

another reflective post. probably because i’m all set for the lent. 😛

my boss gave a short homily yesterday since we were observing st. joseph’s feast day (it should be today, 19 March but most of us in the office don’t come in on saturday), st. joseph being our patron saint. oh yeah, my boss happens to be a Jesuit priest. 😉

well, the homily was short enough but left me reflecting on stuff — that there are those who sow the seed and there are those who water the seed.

he tells us that those theologians, priests, and lay people who author books, inspirational articles and give talks are those that sow the seed (of faith). but equally important are those that water and nurture the seed — the common parish priest. the unassuming position that a parish priest holds has a great responsibility to ‘water the seed’ that has been sown in the faithful. his work is not announced to the world through any published material but is happy to serve the Lord in obscurity.

so goes the same for science. we know the bigshot names: Newton, Feynman, Einstein, Descartes, Richter, Bohr, … the list could go on. they sow the seed of science to spark the interest in the next generation of scientists. but the one who waters the seeds of science are the teachers, the scientists who are buried in their computers and laboratories try to unlock the mysteries of science.

and then there’s saint joseph. how much of him do we hear when Christ starts his ministry? i don’t recall any.

he is the lowly worker in the Lord’s vineyard — humble and obedient. though we do not see how he raised Jesus up from childhood, i bet he did a great job doing it. God sowed the seed and Mary carried the seed… Joseph ‘watered’ it by being Jesus’ father and best friend, i’m sure. i can only guess because it was never declared in the Bible or anywhere in the Church’s 2000-year history… but despite being hidden in obscurity, just like the parish priest and the scientist, we know Joseph was doing his part for us.


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