By: Rick Hernandez
I was talking to a friend who is a construction contractor. He is a finishing carpenter by trade but has become a construction superintendent over the years. He oversees the overall construction of homes. He spoke fondly of when he was just a carpenter; he loved working on the details that make a house into a "home."
When I asked him how this is, he mentioned that now, houses are boxes, made to the minimum specification, with barely anything to make them complete beyond that minimal standard. It used to be that a house was more than the four walls and the roof. Yes, that is enough to make it into a shelter for people, but making it safe, comfortable, memorable, and unique takes much more than the bare minimum. The finishing carpenter would work on the details that made the house into what someone would hope for in a home. From his perspective, we all live in unfinished homes.
This got me thinking, and I soon realized that he was right. If we do not work on the details, on the little things, we are not complete; we are not yet finished.
In our spiritual lives, we tend to be not very different from an unfinished house. We may read from the Bible, at least the well-known passages, and we possibly attend Mass, at least on essential days like Easter or Christmas. And that is equivalent to creating the foundation of a house and maybe building a few walls. It is enough to say that we are building the structure, but not yet enough to call it a house.
Maybe we work some more, and we then start attending Mass every Sunday and on the days of obligation as is our responsibility, perhaps we start reading a little more of the Bible, now some of the chapters that are not well known and from this, we grow. This is equivalent to having the foundation, the four walls, windows, and a roof over our heads. It is enough to keep us out of the weather. We can call this a house, but is it complete? Is it a home?
Maybe in time, we understand that we need more to complete our home. We get down to the details. We can add decorative flair, excellent window shutters, and good doors. We can get appliances that fit our needs. We can get a modern air conditioner and beautiful light fixtures. These details do make the house our own, uniquely ours, and finally our home.
The same way we do it for our home, we can do it for our spiritual life. What are the finishing details we need to work on? Can we make what we learn from reading the Bible and attending Mass a part of our daily lives? Do we incorporate daily prayer? Do we grow in relationship with Christ Eucharistic? Do we attempt to put the Charity, Faith, and Hope we receive into our actions of everyday life? Who can be a better finishing carpenter than Christ? Do we allow Jesus to help finish building us up?
Let us pray: Lord, you are the Lord of all; you know every single one of us, every single detail. Help build us up so we may grow into the people You call us to become. Lord, helps us that we may become complete in You. Amen.