May 1, 2015

Joseph the Worker

May 1, 2015:  St. Joseph the Worker

  • "If we all work together" tie:  St.  Joseph the Worker
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  "Do not let your hearts be troubled" (gospel)
  • 'Castle' button:  "In my Father's house there are many dwelling places; I'm preparing a place for you" (gospel)
  • White shirt and socks:  color of St. Joseph the Worker celebration and Easter season


  • The call ("Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life")/ Vaughan Williams (gospel); the rest of his Five Mystical Songs are here and here.
  • 6 from Mattingly's Creighton reflection; hear them below
Pope Francis
On dignity of labor:  St. Joseph is a carpenter and gets the job done, though he sometimes makes you wait.  God created us and entrusted us with filling and subduing (not exploiting but nurturing and protecting) the earth, caring for it through our work.  We participate in creation by cultivating and caring for the earth.  Work is fundamental to our dignity; through it we can maintain ourselves and our families and contribute to our nations' growth.
Many difficulties afflict the business world:  unemployment, selfish profit motive trumping justice...  I invite everyone to solidarity and encourage those in office to give new impetus to employment, caring for persons' dignity.  Don't lose hope; Joseph overcame his difficulties without losing faith.  Young people, be committed to your duties, study, work, friendships, and helping others; your future depends on how you live now.  Don't fear commitment, sacrifice, or the future; keep your hope alive.
To Cursillistas:  (The Cursillo gives lay Christians tools to become effective leaders over a three-day weekend, then they're asked to take what they learn out into the world.)  Build on the charism the Lord has entrusted to you.  The pioneers of the movement were missionaries who took the initiative and approached people, helping them on their faith journey.  Follow their example and the infinite love of Christ that frees and transforms lives.  Go beyond, faithful to your charism!  Keep alive the zeal, the fire of the Spirit that compels Christ's followers to reach those on the peripheries, to step out of their comfort zone and reach all who need the Gospel.  Help people discover the beauty of faith and a life of grace, but in a way guided by humility.
  • Acts 13:26-33  Paul in synagogue:  "To us this word of salvation has been sent.  Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize Jesus; they found no grounds for a death sentence but still asked Pilate to have him killed, but God raised him, and many are now his witnesses.  God fulfilled in the resurrection what he promised our ancestors."

  • Ps 2:6-11ab  "You are my Son; this day I have begotten you."  “I'll give you the ends of the earth for your possession to rule.”  Serve the Lord, and rejoice before him.

  • Jn 14:1-6  “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Have faith in me.   In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.  I will take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.  I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”
  • One Bread One Body:  "An identification paper":  Paul implied Jesus' resurrection was a new birth in which Jesus was designated eternal Son of God; this shows why the Church has connected Easter with Baptism and renewal of baptismal promises.  If we accept God's grace, the Spirit will cry in our hearts "Abba," we'll be confirmed as God's children, we'll pray that God give us "the nations for an inheritance, and we'll claim our inheritance by making disciples of all nations, becoming witnesses for the risen Jesus.
  • Passionist:  Today people celebrate the dignity and rights of workers.  The gospels say Joseph was a 'craftsman' (tektonos, wood or stone worker, though we think of him as a carpenter); he's lifted up because through the work of his hands he, with Mary, sustained the "holy household." / "I go to prepare place for you" (gospel) lets us see death as a passageway into the Father’s house, accompanied by Jesus.  In using this image, did Jesus remember the 'holy home', warm, loving, and sustaining?  Because of God’s love, life—not death—has the last word, and our joy is only a glimpse of the joy to come.
  •  When we run into difficulties, we can lose hope, or be brought closer to God and his promises.  As God went ahead of Moses to lead them to the promised land, Jesus goes ahead through his ascension to prepare a place for us in his Father's house. 
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life":
    • Way:  He knows the way to the Father because he's been with him from the beginning.  He accompanies, watches over, and sustains us.
    • Truth:  Many can teach truth, but only Jesus is the Truth.  The truth Jesus proclaims can set us free from ignorance, deception, and sin.
    • Life:  He not only shows us the path of life but also gives the the abundant everlasting life only God can.
  • Universalis: St. Joseph the Worker:   The Christian view of work is not materialist; workers are people created in God’s image, and creation is an activity of theirs.  Our work echoes God's glorious work; it must not be wasted, abused, improperly paid, or directed to wrong ends.  An economic system shines when it gives many the chance to build something worthwhile; its shame, when people are coerced, by greed or poverty, into being “lumps of labour.”   See Wikipedia on Catholic social teaching.
Special greetings to and prayers for the community at
St. Joseph the Worker parishschool, and preschool!

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