Thought of the day
Sunday, September 4, 2016

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

Building a tower

I used to enjoy climbing up the cathedral towers at Burgos [with some young people] to get a close view of the ornamentation at the top, a veritable lacework of stone that must have been the result of very patient and laborious craftsmanship. As I chatted with the young men who accompanied me I used to point out that none of the beauty of this work could be seen from below. To give them a material lesson... I would say: “This is God's work, this is working for God! To finish your personal work perfectly, with all the beauty and exquisite refinement of this tracery stonework.” Seeing it, my companions would understand that all the work we had seen was a prayer, a loving dialogue with God. The men who spent their energies there were quite aware that no one at street level could appreciate their efforts. Their work was for God alone...

'Since we are convinced that God is to be found everywhere, we plow our fields praising the Lord, we sail the seas and ply all our other trades singing his mercies. Doing things this way we are united to God at every moment... But don't forget that you are also in the presence of men, and that they expect from you, from you personally, a Christian witness. 

Thus, as regards the human aspect of our job, we must work in such a way that we will not feel ashamed when those who know us and love us see us at our work, nor give them cause to feel embarrassed... You will not be like the man in the parable who set out to build a tower: “When he had laid the foundations and was unable to finish, all who beheld him began to mock him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish.” Believe me. If you don't lose your supernatural outlook, you will crown your work. You will finish your cathedral to the very last stone.