The Father’s Workshop

The following is a meditation I enjoyed after a reading from the Gospel on the flight into Egypt.  The bible verses were followed by a reading from Catherine Emerich about the difficulties of the journey.  We were invited to imagine ourselves in the company of the Holy Family at dinner.

Holy Family in the Workhop

Holy Family in the Workhop

When dinner is ended the boy Jesus addresses me.  His hair is wavy and His skin dark and tanned.  He is young.  I am aware that He is about seven but he acts more like nine or ten.  He is mature beyond his age but excited to speak and to show me something.  “Come, come with me,” He invites, “I want to show you my father’s workshop.”  At once I am aware that the workshop is Joseph’s but also metaphorically the workshop of the Father in heaven.  We get there instantly, and the Child Jesus explains, “We build many things here, my father and I.”  I am aware that this means also that He and His Devine Father made all things.  I notice a stain on a length of wood and Jesus responds, “Yes, it is my blood.  I have spilled my blood on the wood many times working here.  This isn’t the first and it will not be the last.”  I am aware that this is literal and also that it means it is not His last drop of blood but that He will give His last drop also in a work involving wood, the wood of the cross.  Young Jesus continues, “We begin work here on Sunday and continue through the week.  Thursday is the hardest.”  I am aware that this extra load of work on Thursday is a foreshadowing of his passion that begins in agony and that The Child Jesus contemplates while at work.  He continues, “On Saturday we go into the house and pray.  We pray as we remember the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt.  We pray for our own deliverance from Egypt and we pray for your deliverance from your Egypt.”  I am aware that “your Egypt” means both the general salvation of all souls from the hands of the evil one and also deliverance from my personal enslavement to sin.

© Tim Bartel 2008

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