The Word at Work: The Work of God (Eighteenth Ordinary)

Jesus said, “Throw your lot in with the One that God has sent. That kind of commitment gets you in on

God’s works”. They waffled: “Why don’t you give us a clue about who you are, just a hint of what’s going on? When we see what’s up, we’ll commit ourselves. Show us what you can do. Moses fed our ancestors with bread in the desert. It says so in the Scriptures: ‘He  gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ (John 6:  29 – 31)

Each of us who is not independently wealthy wakes up and, in one way or another, tries to do exactly what Jesus tells us not to do: work for food that perishes. Not that Jesus has anything against earning a living and feeding ourselves and our families. But that should not be where our energy goes. It should go toward doing the work of God, which, we are told, is to believe in the one God sent. That is our full-time job; every other duty in our lives falls under this responsibility.

Here’s a sign of how that plays out: Joe Bonadies spent most of his life as the head groundskeeper at a small Midwestern Catholic college. He worked with a ragtag group of guys who all seemed to be running away from something. He trained them well and expected nothing less than excellence. But he never said that. He showed it by the care he took with every task, pruning bushes, planting flowers, shovelling walks, working in the greenhouse, taking coffee breaks with the motley crew, and sharing stories and jokes over a midday meal.

He was a really happy man, quietly tending to his giant garden every day. He was never late and never sick, but he left at 3 p.m. without fail to get home to his tiny house bursting at the seams with his wife and six kids, whom he adored and saw flourish under his care.