How we work and serve God in an amazing variety of ways
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 “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Over the last thousand years or more, the Church has celebrated St. Joseph, the guardian of Jesus and spouse of Mary in different ways and under different titles. A hundred and fifty years ago, in 1870, he was declared patron of the Universal Church. And on this date in 1955, Pope Pius XII called attention to the spiritual importance and personal dignity of human labor by creating this feast and naming St. Joseph the patron of workers. The foster father of our Savior worked with his hands to support the Holy Family as a carpenter. And, like so many parents have traditionally done since the earliest days of God’s people on earth, Joseph went on to teach the Child whom he and Mary raised to follow in his trade.
Labor is very often difficult, testing the bodies and minds of those who earn their livelihood day after day. Whatever we do, it will always have meaning if we perform our tasks not only for the welfare of our families and ourselves, as vital as that is, but also to join our efforts to the ongoing work of divine creation. Let us offer our work to God to venerate Him by our honest labor, just as Joseph did in the carpentry shop at Nazareth. We can thank our Lord for all His creation – and recognize our own work as part of His plan for the world. “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.… Fill us at daybreak with you kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.... Let your work be seen by your servants and your glory by their children” (Psalm 90:12, 14, 16).