Memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker
Genesis 1:26 – 2:3, or Colossians 3:14-15, 17, 23-24, Psalm 90:2, 3-4, 12-13, 14, 16,
& Matthew 13:54-58 Or Acts 15:1-6, Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5, & John 15:1-8
Childhood of Christ by Gerard van Honthorst
In the Gospel narrative of Saint Matthew, Jesus returns to His home in Nazareth and speaks in the synagogue, the amazement of His fellow townspeople at His wisdom is emphasized. They asked themselves, “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” Jesus comes into our history. He comes among us by being born of Mary by the power of God, but with the presence of Saint Joseph, the legal father who cares for Him and also teaches Him a trade. Jesus is born and lives in a family—the Holy Family. He learned the carpenter’s craft in a workshop in Nazareth, shared with St. Joseph the commitment, effort, satisfaction of everyday life, and the difficulties.
Friends, this reminds us of the dignity and importance of work. The Book of Genesis tells us that God created man and woman, entrusting them with the task of filling the earth and subduing it, which does not mean exploiting it but nurturing and protecting it, caring for it through their work.
Work is part of God’s loving plan; we are called to cultivate and care for all the goods of creation and, in this way, share in the work of creation. Work is fundamental to the dignity of each person. Work, to use a metaphor, “anoints” us with satisfaction, fills us with dignity, and gives us the ability to maintain ourselves, our families, and the growth of our country.
Let us pray for those who are unemployed or underemployed and that they can find and prosper in meaningful work to embrace the dignity of self-reliance.
Question of the Day: How will you assist others in finding meaningful employment?
Prayer: Lord God, give us work to share our talents with others and know the dignity and satisfaction that you give us through our efforts. Amen.