< <  

Wednesday, May 1, 1996

  > >

St. Joseph the Worker

Genesis 1:26—2:3 or
Colossians 3:14-15, 17, 23-24
Psalm 90
Matthew 13:54-58

View Readings
Similar Reflections

catholic worker

"Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being. Do it for the Lord rather than for men, since you know full well you will receive an inheritance from Him as your reward." — Colossians 3:23-24

Pope Pius XII instituted today's feast of St. Joseph the Worker to compete with the May Day celebrations in Communist countries. We have the obscure carpenter of Nazareth (see Mt 13:55) pitted against the Goliath of multi-national, atheistic Communism. For years, on this day, the Communists paraded their armies, missiles, tanks, and guns, while Joseph called us to do the manual tasks of everyday life with our whole being and "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Col 3:17). Of course, the Communists and the capitalists largely ignored Joseph and his little workers, occasionally noticing them enough to laugh at them. But, in the name of his foster Son Jesus, Joseph and his workers have prevailed over Soviet Communism. They will eventually also bring Chinese Communism and unbridled capitalism to their knees.

You can be one of Joseph's workers and look like a fool (see 1 Cor 4:10), or you can work for yourself rather than for the Lord and actually be a fool. "You should not be working for perishable food but for food that remains unto life eternal, food which the Son of Man will give you" (Jn 6:27). "Be slaves of Christ the Lord" (Col 3:24).

Prayer:  Father, may my way of working be so radically different as to provoke questions from non-Christians.

Promise:  "God created man in His image; in the divine image He created him; male and female He created them." —Gn 1:27

Praise:  Joseph the carpenter trained Jesus in the skill of construction and building. Jesus built a church which has lasted 2000 years.

Reference:  (For more teaching on this subject, order our pamphlet, Job Performance for Jesus.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 10, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 13, 1995