Posted On 2021-01-17 In Year of St. Joseph

A creatively courageous father

SAINT JOSEPH MEN |Roberto Henestrosa, Bolivia

The Joseph Challenge 2021 by, only for men: Men from different vocational options in the Covenant of Love, from different countries and generations, allow themselves to be challenged by the letter of Pope Francis Patris Corde about Joseph, “this extraordinary figure, so close to our human condition” and they share what most impacts and motivates them from the figure of Saint Joseph and the letter of the Holy Father about him. Roberto Henestrosa, from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, chose point number 5 (A creatively courageous father) for his testimony.—


When reading these stories superficially, one gets the impression that the world is at the mercy of the strong and powerful, but the “good news” of the Gospel consists in showing how, despite the arrogance and brutality of earthly rulers, God always finds a way to accomplish his plan of salvation.

Even our life sometimes seems to be in the hands of superior forces, but the Gospel tells us that God always manages to save the important, on condition that we have the same creative courage as the carpenter of Nazareth, who knew how to transform a problem into an opportunity, always trusting in Providence. If at times it seems that God does not help us, it does not mean that he has abandoned us, but that he trusts in us, in what we can plan, invent and find. This is the same creative courage shown by the friends of the paralytic whom, in order to present him to Jesus, brought him down from the roof (Cf. Lk 5:17-26).

The difficulty did not stop the audacity and stubbornness of those friends. They were convinced that Jesus could heal the sick and <<since they could not bring him in because of the crowd, they went up to the top of the house and had him come down on the stretcher through the tiles and placed him among the people in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Friend, your sins are forgiven!”.

Jesus recognized the creative faith with which these men tried to bring their sick friend to him. The Gospel does not give any information about the time when Mary, Joseph and the Child remained in Egypt. What is certain, however, is that they must have needed to eat, to find a house, a job. It does not take a lot of imagination to fill the silence of the Gospel in this regard. The Holy Family had to face concrete problems like all other families, like many of our migrant brothers and sisters who even today risk their lives in the face of adversity and hunger. In this regard, I believe that St. Joseph is truly a special patron saint for all those who have to leave their land because of war, hatred, persecution and misery.

WITH A FATHER’S HEART.  It is often said that Mary was chosen as the one full of grace, but St. Joseph was also a chosen one, an angel also appeared to talk to him, the one who entrusted him with the name of Jesus. A humble carpenter, a righteous man, a courageous man who went out from Nazareth to Bethlehem to see his son be born.

He built a manger like a good carpenter creating a welcoming place.

In the past we were also in our Nazareth, we had that moment where we learned that we must leave behind many things to see others be born in Bethlehem. The son who God entrusted me is Andrew, the first one born in my Bethlehem.

A chit-chat with Andrés

Yesterday we had one of those talks that can only be started briefly with a pre-teen on the way to his soccer practice.

  • Dad: Did you see how much your dad could do? (Leaving the workshop after showing him a half-built table for a lab)
  • Son: Yes, but it needs polish and paint.
  • Dad: (I showed him a picture of a finished one) That’s how it’s going to look!
  • Son: Nice!
  • Dad: When you are passionate about the things you want, you can do anything. What would you like me to do for you?
  • Son: A Time Machine!
  • Dad: The kind you walk into and appear in the future?
  • Son: Yes!
  • Dad: Go in and look like you’re asleep and see your dreams, your longings, your fears and wake up with time running into the future, without you even realizing it?
  • Son: Yes, one of those, but you will not be able to do it. I was just testing you.
  • Dad: I have already made five of those!
  • Son: (Disbelief face)
  • Dad: I made one in oak, well attached to the floor. Another one made of two compartments, in younger pinewood. And the last one was made on a slope, with three compartments to keep the magic with which you return to the past, live the present and project yourself into the future. I also made a space with sliding doors where you can hide and spend a lot of time in games.
  • Son: Show me the pictures.
  • Dad: Son, I designed the beds in our room where mom and I sleep, dream, love each other, play with you and wake up every day 7 to 8 hours ahead of time without almost noticing. We also designed the one in the room you share with Federico, where you now spend most of your time, where you have the complicity of your life partner, your brother. The beds of your sisters Emma and Catalina, where they keep their cuddly toys, dolls, kitchen and hairdressing tools, where they make their dreams fly. Where they hide to play in that place that is only theirs. All of them made out of wood.


The creativity and courage of St. Joseph

Creativity is not just creating something new, it is much more than that, it is riding a donkey all of your life, hoping and projecting yourself into your child, it is letting yourself be carried away by God’s plans for you. It is discovering the love around those plans; it is receiving the teachings in a positive way that sometimes is difficult for us to accept.

The creativity of St. Joseph, patron of the Church, was brave as we must be brave in these times where God gives us again a space to be confined in family, knowing us, supporting us, collaborating with us, loving us, dreaming together that the future will be better, because we will be better.

May the courage of St. Joseph teach us that death, is one more step to life, where with creativity we can accept God’s plans in his divine providence.

Today it is our turn to be more courageous and creative, it is our turn to accompany in solidarity the most vulnerable families of our society. It is up to us to enter into our time machines and dream as St. Joseph did, so that we can plan, invent and find better times with courage.

We must accompany the most needy with a Covenant culture that is more alive than ever. Today is the time to be dreamers!



Original: Spanish 2021-01-09. Translation: Maria Aragón, Monterrey, México

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