Saturday, March 21, 2015

What Bubba Watson Taught Me About St. Joseph....

Our school liturgy on Friday honored St. Joe.
My mom believes that Mother's Day and Father's Day were made up by Hallmark. She got this from her father, my grandfather. They don't think there should be an arbitrary day set by a company to profit on something we should do everyday. After all, honoring our mothers and fathers is one of the commandments. But the truth of the matter is if my brother, sister or I forget to call our mom or send our dad a card on this day, we will hear about it for years to come. All of this is my way of saying that I think many Spanish speaking countries have it right—the Feast of St. Joseph is also Father's Day—Dia del padre. Whether or not one is a Christian, the example the Joseph provides is one that all men can learn from and appreciate.

One of my favorite Father's Days was spent with my mom, dad and sister at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. After brunch in the main dining room, we went downstairs to the grill room/bar area to watch the men's US Open (golf). My dad, who proclaimed how overly full he felt from the buffet was still able to order a few beers and make room for their addictive peanuts and pretzels. That's my dad, he always has room for a beer, especially when an a good sports event is underway. Some of my favorite memories with my dad are going to Pac-10 football games with him to watch his brother, my uncle referee it. We've been to more than our fair share of Notre Dame football games together, traveling far to do so. He saves highlights and interviews of athletes and coaches for me he knows I'll enjoy. I do the same for him.
I came to love ND through my dad.

Sports have taught he a lot about my father. He earned a tennis scholarship which allowed him to attend Seattle University. He is the one who signed me for lessons at the age of 12. I still remember what he said: I hope you enjoy this sport as much as I do. It's one you can play for the rest of your life. He was right, I enjoyed it as much as he did, maybe even more. Of all sports, I consider tennis as "my first love." My dad also comes from a fanatical sports family. You could say that it rubbed off on me. Sports is just one thing I have come to love through my father.

From time to time I have wondered what Jesus came to love through his own early father. In "My Life with the Saints," James Martin writes, "Before his public ministry, we know that he must was trained in the trade of carpentry (The Greek word used in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew is tekton which can be variously translated as "craftsman" or "woodworker" but traditionally rendered as "carpenter.") And with that, Joseph would have passed on to Jesus the values required to become a good carpenter: patience, judgment and persistence.

The life of St. Joseph is considered a "hidden" one. Joseph, Jesus' earthly father speaks no words in the Gospel and there are but a few lines written about him. Although we know very little about him, his impact had to have been tremendous. Let that serve as a metaphor for relationships we have with others. I think of my friend Chris whose father died 10 years ago. I know they were very close. Even though I never met his dad, part of me feels as though I have. March 19 is a wonderful day to do that.

So Mother's Day is Sunday, May 10, 2015 and Father's Day is Sunday, June 21 (always the final round at the US Open if you need an easy way to remember).
Maybe Watson, now a father of two--he and his wife have adopted a boy and a girl, will win this year's US Open!
And the reason I write all of this is because I have been commissioned to write regularly for a blog about a holy woman named Cora Evans. There is a movement toward her canonization and this arm of social media aims to draw attention to her cause. Linked here is the reflection I wrote entitled: The Dream of St. Joseph. One of the golfers my dad and I both love made me think of St. Joe in a new way. Enjoy.

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