Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Homily on the Vigil of the Feast of St. Joseph


Once upon a time in the not too distant past I had a very interesting conversation with a young man.

I approached him because I heard that he had just had a great disappointment in his life and I was wondering how he was doing.

When I asked him how he was he said...
Look how great I look who wouldn’t be happy?

His demeanor and his manner betrayed how miserable he was.
I wanted to say to him you are more than your muscles and your looks,
but I knew he was just not in a place to understand.

I pressed a little harder seeing if he would be brave enough to share his pain…
and he said with a little frustration in his voice…

Don’t you get it with abs like these I can get any girl I want?

I was amazed at his frankness but saddened by his loneliness.

Another young man was talking to me about a girl he was surprised he was starting to like.

The only problem he said that she had slept in double digits.. it took me a while to understand what  “slept in double digits.”meant.

When I finally understood I asked him what his digits were and he responded that was different,
men were supposed to have double digits.

He enjoyed her company but he wasn’t sure if he should date this girl because people thought that she was dirty and he was concerned about his reputation.

You don’t have to walk far on any campus to hear about beer.

Beer that magical yellow liquid which makes life grand.

Beer, fun in a bottle, happiness in a bottle, sociability in a bottle.

So many young men depend or are dependent on beer to dance, to talk to women, to have fun.

It almost seems that if something freaky happened and all of the beer in the world disappeared men would lose all hope of happiness or fun on a Friday night.

When I asked one young man about his goals in life he responded they are plain and simple fr. Bob,

Money I want Money…..
I will work hard, to get ahead of everyone no matter what it takes.

I will make a name for myself and while I am still young I will retire with my money so that I can have fun.

There was no mention of love, or relationship or the meaning of life…

At Ask they did what they call the Great Male Survey

48 % of Men said they would dump their girlfriend if she got fat.
(Shallow to be sure)
30% Said the would cheat on their girlfriend if there was no chance that she would find out.
(What a painful lack of faithfulness)

48% said they would look at her email or text messages without her knowing.
(Shows a lot of fear)

63% said they felt that living together before marriage was a good way to find out if it would work.

11% Thought living together was morally wrong.
(Statistics have repeatedly shown that people who live together before marriage have a higher rate of divorce)

51% Said that a relationship cannot survive without good regular sex.
What can we deduce from everything listed above?

It would seem that our culture’s idea of an ideal man is someone who spends exorbitant time at the gym caring for himself.

The ideal man is single and on the prowl for women and casual sexual relationships.

The average man wants to have lots of fun which is almost always or at least frequently chemically induced.

Being dependent on chemicals for happiness doesn’t seem to be a sign of strength to me.

Men self-absorbed by their looks, and vain to an extreme

Men Desiring more shallow relationships and less commitment.

Men who openly live by a double standard

Men who are Dependent

Are these really the type of men we want to be ?
I may be naïve but I don’t believe that they represent the men that I know.
I don’t think so…

Most of us in the chapel care about relationships
I would propose that most of us want to be faithful.

Most of us want to be good husbands.
Most men want to be exemplar fathers.

And to help you do so….

I would like to propose to you another example of Manhood who might seem a little out of place at Ask

His name is..

Joseph the Worker
Joseph of the House of David
Joseph the Betrothed
Joseph the foster child of Jesus

Even though he never speaks in the gospel we know a lot about him.

He was a Man of faith and a man of prayer.
He believed that God loved him and cared for him.

He believed that God cared enough to communicate with in him in a dream.

He was a man willing to take risks.
He took a huge risk in standing by Mary.
He could have been accused of being the father and
ostracized by the community.

He was a caring man
Joseph cared for Mary and he cared for Jesus

He provided as best as he could
When there was no room in the inn he improvised
and his son was born in a manger.

He was strong and he protected his young family
from Herod.
He loved them so much he took his little family on a perilous journey to Egypt.

Joseph was poor… never made a lot of money
he could afford only two turtle doves as an offering for Jesus at the Presentation

Joseph must have spent lots of time with his son
He Taught him a trade
he must have been good at it because they also called him Joseph the Carpenter.

Transmitted the faith
He modeled what it was to be a man for Jesus

And it is impossible to see Jesus and not see the shadow of Joseph his father…

Joseph the man who gave him a generous heart a loving heart and strong faith.

Gentlemen sometimes especially when you are young

A worldly understanding of what it means to be a man is so attractive.

It is fast paced
And filled with excitement
There is the thrill of the hunt and the conquest

Some modern men live their life as if it is all about them all about their needs, their wants, etc.
others live their lives by giving it to others.

Don’t be taken in.

If you want to be a man like St. Joseph
you will have to spend your life not thinking about yourself but rather

looking for ways to pour out your life for those precious souls that God has given you to love.

That’s how St. Joseph lived

Let us go and do the same.

1 comment:

not a minx, a moron, or a parasite said...

Beautiful and inspiring. Thank you!