Passionate Work

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Would you trust an optometrist who wears “coke bottle” glasses?  Wouldn’t you say to him, “Thanks for your time but no thanks?”
Would you allow a dentist with brown, dirty teeth to examine your teeth?  Wouldn’t you say to him the same thing you said to the eye doctor?
Would you see a heart specialist who’s smoking in his office with an ashtray full of butts?  You’d say the same thing as you said to the eye-guy and the teeth-guy.
Would you trust a heavyset priest?  (I won’t go there…)
Conversely, would you hire a carpenter with soft, smooth hands or see a construction worker with clean fingernails?
Professions need to fit your personality, demeanor, temperament; your passion.  As much as I may want to be an astronaut, it just ain’t gonna happen.

Isn’t that what the Christian faith is all about too?  It’s the right fit in the right person at the right time.  It’s not the smiling that makes a Christian a Christian.  I’m starting to think that the Christian faith finds you, not the opposite.  For me as for many it’s the family religion and it suits me as well as it suited my parents.  And, like a good suit, it fits.  Anybody can smile.  It’s not the crying either.  It is the meaning behind the action, it is the reason for that smile or those tears that makes the crucified Christ and the risen Christ the passion of our lives.  Mirrors are never mentioned in the Bible because I guess they were invented yet.  (1835, Wikipedia says. But what about a puddle!?)  That means that St. Paul never say himself except in those that he touched or any other Biblical character.  The best mirror of all is Christ because we finally got to see God.  We say all the time that “nobody’s ever seen God.”  How wrong they are with Christian eyes.  I see God everyday in his creation and I don’t mean snow or trees.  He lays it before us to see and behold because he visited here once.

Growing up under difficult circumstances make for an easy excuse the rest of your life.  You can always blame the circumstances of your youth and milk it for all that it’s worth.  “Ahhh, that’s the reason she acts the way she does.”

Some people are suited for their job which makes them no longer jobs but professions, careers.  Others tolerate their jobs until they can retire.  My heart sinks when I hear someone boldly say that “it’s just a job” as though it’s a badge of courage worn by everyone.  If it’s luck or persistence, I’ve only had one job that I didn’t like.  Pea Factory. (I don’t think I lasted two pay periods.)  Enough said.  “Paycheck” is the other heart sinking word when I hear it.  (Getting out of bed can’t be an easy exercise for those folks roboting,new word, their lives away.)  And then there are those who so beautifully and perfectly find a place where their passion and gifts can be shared and shared again in a Christian spirit of optimism, goodwill and an undying hope.  Then it no longer is work or labor but passion and love.  The first is a necessary duty, the second is the reason for it.

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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