Upholding the dignity of human labor, whatever form it takes.
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker (May 1, 2020): GN 1:26-2:3; PS 90:2,3-4,12-13,14,16; MT 13:54-58
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Almighty God expects each person to be a good steward of the earth and a good neighbor to other people.
Today the whole Church day honors St. Joseph the Worker. Few saints are celebrated on more than one day, but 65 years ago, this day was added to the Church calendar to express more clearly the longstanding Catholic belief in the intrinsic worth of human work. All our labor is deeply connected to the Creator of this world and the whole universe. “God created man in His image; in the divine image He created him; male and female He created them.… God blessed them... And so it happened. God looked at everything He had made, and He found it very good” (Genesis 1:27, 31).
Almighty God expects each person to be a good steward of the earth and a good neighbor to other people. This includes putting our bodies, minds and souls at the service of our Lord in all we do. And whatever we do for a living certainly demands our attention and integrity. Our best efforts are necessary not just for the sake of what we earn, but also for the good that we can do. We are called to respect the innate human dignity of all workers – those with whom we labor, those for whom we work, and those whose work benefits us. Surely, St. Joseph taught Jesus more than how to handle the tools of their trade and to craft quality pieces to sell to others. The head of the Holy Family must have been the model of a good worker, an honest businessman, and a considerate neighbor. Now it is this generation’s turn to work hard and to do good. We can also help others to have their work and their rights respected, especially those who are vulnerable for whatever reason.
Suggested missionary action: During this most challenging time, let us ask St. Joseph to offer special protection to those who, Pope Francis said, are “in these very days writing the decisive events of our time: doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, law and order forces, volunteers, priests, religious men and women and so very many others who have understood that no one reaches salvation by themselves.” Let us pray for their families as well, as we offer also prayers for all now out of work, or working in different circumstances. May the Lord bless and guide them.