We -- your wives, children, siblings, and friends, thank you for being the strong, wonderful dads that you are. God bless you all for everything that you do!
I asked the Lord to help me to hear something during Mass today that I'm supposed to think about, and what I got this morning was a phrase that Father E. used in his homily:
"Jesus shares His ministry and His strength with us."
The vocation that we have, and our faithful service in it, is how we are called to share in Jesus' ministry.
Often I have a big task that needs to get done around here, and in order to get it done well, I have to delegate:
"Sean, I need you to get the boys' room straightened up... Reilly, please finish washing those dishes over there... Kathryn, please take Grace into another room and play with her... Christopher, I need you and Thomas to gather everyone's shoes..."
and so on and so forth.
None of them are doing the same task as their other siblings, and quite possibly not a single one of them sees how this particular task is so crucial to accomplishing the "big picture."
But I do.
I see how each task works together to get us all moving forward. If one of them fails to do the task assigned to them, all of us fall behind.
You see where this is going, of course, but still I'll say it:
I have no idea how my being faithful in my little corner of the world He's put me in makes any difference (other than in the life of my family, of course). I don't see how I'm "furthering the Kingdom," or making any significant mark on the world...
... but I am.
Our dinner time conversation this evening was on "appropriate table manners," and I wound up saying, "Do you think that Pope Benedict's mommy had any idea that she was raising a future Pope? No, she didn't... but she taught him well, and the manners that he learned when he was little are the ones that he uses today."
My Mom told the kids the story of how she met my Dad. The part of the story that I don't recall hearing before was that the college recruiters came to her high school looking for women to work in the administration offices, and she was not on the original list of women to apply for the jobs available. The woman who was supposed to go got sick, so they called my Mom instead. She got the job, met my Dad, and the rest was history. (and their 5 children and 10 grandkids thank them for it!)
We don't see how the small things we are called to be faithful in will make any difference, but all of it -- ALL of it -- fits in somehow with His plan.
So this week, I'm praying that God will help me to remember that my vocation is truly a share in Jesus' ministry, and that He is giving me His strength to accomplish the tasks I've been given, so this whole thing can "move forward."