I have a two-inch scar on my head. “Trust me,” my brother said, and proceeded to slam the garage door down on my head. I love him dearly but still pause when he says, “Trust me.” Remember the “trust walk” where one closed one’s eyes and let another lead them around? Students would walk the one with their eyes closed into chairs or picnic tables. They would laugh as kids do, perhaps a bit wiser next time around. Does wisdom exclude trust? Words alone do not build trust. Which leads us to this week’s gospel.
The gospel tells the story of a man born blind. Someone totally dependent on others, a life dependent on trust. COVID-19 finds all of us walking in the dark. We don’t know what to expect. We purchase as if there is no tomorrow. The gift of rugged individualism we American’s cherish is also a curse – our sense of caring for and thinking of others often the only thing left on a shelf. And yet service to others is not dead. Cards written to shut-ins, take-out food from small, family owned restaurants, phone calls checking up on people. A man born blind and Jesus heals him. He does it because it is needed. Jesus trusted it was the right thing to do – not counting the cost.
We just celebrated the feast of St. Joseph. Not St. Joseph the Worker, just poor old Joseph who married a pregnant woman whose child he did not co-create, the immigrant Joseph who fled to a foreign land to protect his family, the Joseph who cared for and guided a child not his own. Ring a bell? The first seal of the Institute (Brothers of the Christian Schools) was St. Joseph with the child Jesus and shows up on documents as early as 1707. De La Salle wrote: “You must have a similarly great attention and affection…just as Saint Joseph had for all that he could contribute to the welfare of the Child Jesus. For you have been made responsible for these children, just as Saint Joseph was made responsible by God for the Savior of the world. This is also the first care you ought to have in your work if you wish to imitate Saint Joseph, who had nothing more at heart than to provide for the needs of the Child Jesus.”
We live in interesting times; challenging, to be sure. However as we continue to minister to those entrusted to our care, can we trust and call upon our inner wisdom knowing God is present and we go not alone?