Monday, May 1, 2023

The Feast of St Joseph The Worker

  1st May 2023

St Joseph the Worker.

For a long time now this Feastday has been one of my favourites.

The Gospel for today gives that that wonderful description,   meant to be derogatory but,  when we think about it , so meaningful, of Jesus after the people heard Him teaching in the Synagogue in Nazareth:                                                       "Where did  the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? This is the carpenter's son, surely? Is not His mother the woman called Mary,...."

Jesus - Son of the carpenter, a worker. 

The worker:

Haven't we, like Joseph,  from the very beginning been created to work?

Gen 2.15 "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."

From this verse, we can conclude, can we not, that man's God given purpose, is  to work?   

The purpose of creation is to give Glory to God and the way we humans do that is by our work.  To do our work well, whatever it is, is an opportunity for us to give Glory to God and be part of His creative process.                                                                                               What is the best work we can do for God then, what will please Him more?                                                                                            The doctor saving peoples lives?                                                      The farmer growing crops so that we might live?                                     The teacher imparting knowledge to our children?

I'd say the one who does their work with more love of God.

And that could be the simple road sweeper, or any other worker, who works well and does it with great love of God.

All work, any work, is an opportunity to love God more.

And as that's what we are made for, we can do it all of our life.

Of course, after the fall work became difficult, but that does not negate the beauty of it. Work is not a punishment that was inflicted on humanity because of our pride and disobedience. 

Gen 3:17

"Then to Adam He said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten the tree about which I commanded you, saying, "You shall not eat from it"; cursed is the ground because of you: With hard labour you shall eat from it all the days of your life."

So, Adam's curse is one of hardship in doing the necessary work of life, work that would otherwise have brought joy and meaning to his existence. 

"Get rid of the idea that work is a punishment. Work is our way to give Glory to God. Rather than being a punishment it is how God intended for men and women to mature , growing into His image and likeness" (Bishop Echevarria)

It was after my third daughter was born, that I  understood for this for the first time. To realise that my "work" in the home, as a wife and mother was my way to sanctity, changed my life forever. 

Changing the babies nappy, washing the kitchen floor, doing the dishes, everything was now working for God. 


May is the Month of Mary and thinking about the Holy Family today is a good start to the the month. 

1 comment :

  1. You've made excellent points, i taught my children to work and that it is a blessed thing to have some!


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