April 30, 2017

Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker

St. Joseph with Jesus

May 1st, the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. In 1955, Pope Pius XII established the feast with the hope that it would accentuate the dignity of labor. St. Joseph shows us that work when offered to God, no matter how mundane, routine or seemingly unspiritual, is of great value. Whenever people labor to support themselves and their families, they're fulfilling the same responsibilities that St. Joseph had in protecting and supporting Mary and Jesus. Our Lord said, "What so ever you do for my brothers and sisters you do for me." You are feeding and clothing Jesus when you work to provide for others' needs.

The work Joseph did as a carpenter to support his family was done for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Your work can also be done for Jesus as an act of love for him and an offering that will be for his glory and for the coming of his Kingdom. This is part of what it means to be a good Christian, giving a fair day's labor for the wages you earn, this comes right out of Sacred Scripture. Saint Paul, writing to slaves in his letter to the Colossians says: "Slaves, obey your human masters in everything, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but in simplicity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ." Here St. Paul is addressing anyone in family or societal relationships, i.e: wives and husbands, children and parents.

St. Joseph is the patron of the universal Church because, as Saint John Paul II explains: "Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God," May we emulate St. Joseph in his humility, trust and openness to doing the will of God.

Prayer to St. Joseph

Almighty ever-living God, Creator of all things, who laid down for the human race the law of work, graciously grant that by the example of Saint Joseph and under his patronage and intercession, we may complete the works you set us to do and attain the rewards you promise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever Amen.

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