May 1, 2017

May 1

May 1, 2017:  Monday, 3rd week, Easter / St. Joseph the Worker

  • 'Boundless mercy sign' pin:  Stephen worked great wonders and signs among the people (1st reading); "You're looking for me not because you saw signs..." (gospel)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  "...but because you ate the loaves and were filled"; Bread of Life discourse (gospel)
  • 'Owl' pin:  Stephen spoke with wisdom... (1st reading)
  • 'Dove' pin:  ...and the Spirit; (1st reading)
  • 'Angel' pin:  His face was like an angel's (1st reading)
  • 'Boat' tie bar:  Jesus hadn't gone along in the boat (gospel)
  • Tie with food:  You ate and were filled; work for food that endures for eternal life (gospel)

  • White shirt and socks:  Easter season


For Psalm 90
Psalm 19 settings related to weekday psalm
Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences
Workers' hard battles in the 19th and 20th centuries that took place in the name of solidarity and rights are far from over; look how millions are socially excluded, marginalized.  Solidarity isn't enough; we must expand the traditional concept of justice.
Today many consider almost everything a trade commodity, and everything is accomplished out of duty; those visions haven't, and won't, solve the problems of economy and work.  We must try new paths inspired by Christ’s message.  The key word is fraternity; Quadragesimo Anno decried its opposite, egoism, as the basis of injustice.
The solution is a fraternal society in which work is recognized as a capacity and inalienable need of each person.  Only in such a society can work be just, corresponding to each person's vocation, allowing them to develop their abilities, and equitably remunerated.  The gospel proposes a new humanism and a new energy that will generate freedom, justice, peace and dignity for all.
Always hope for a better future and fight for it!  If everyone does their part, placing the human person at the center, with an attitude of solidarity and fraternal sharing, we'll be able to leave behind the morass of a hard economic season of work.

Easter weekday
  • Acts 6:8-15  Stephen was working wonders and signs.  People debated with him but couldn't withstand the wisdom and Spirit with which he spoke.  They falsely accused him, stirred up the people, elders, and scribes, brought him before the Sanhedrin, and false witnesses testified.  All saw his face was like an angel's.
  • Ps 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30  "Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!"  Your decrees are my delight, my counselors.  You answered me; teach me your statutes.  I've chosen the way of truth.
  • Jn 6:22-29  After Jesus had fed the 5,000, the crowd found him and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”  Jesus:  “You look for me because you ate the loaves and were filled.  Work for the food that endures for eternal life, that the Son will give you.” / “How can we do God's works?” / “Believe in the one he sent.”
St. Joseph the Worker
  • Gn 1:26-2:3  "Let us make human beings in our image."  God said to them:  "Have dominion over the fish, birds, and all crawling things."  God found everything he made very good.  God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day.  God made the seventh day holy....
    "Prosper the work of our hands"
  • Col 3:14-15, 17, 23-24  Put on love, and let Christ's peace control you.  Whatever you do, in word or deed, do in the Lord Jesus' name from the heart, knowing he'll repay you; be slaves of the Lord Christ.
  • Ps 90:2-4, 12-14, 16  "Lord, give success to the work of our hands."  Fill us with your mercy, that we may sing for joy.  Show your deeds to your servants.
  • Mt 13:54-58  He came to his native place and taught in the synagogue.  Astonished, they said, “Where did he get such wisdom and deeds?  Isn't he the carpenter’s son?  Isn't Mary his mother?  They took offense, but Jesus told them, “A prophet is without honor in his native place....”
    • Creighton:  Stephen was chosen as one of the first deacons because he was filled with wisdom, the Spirit, grace, and power; he organized charitable activities, preached and debated well, and drew attention from all sides.  Many, including [pre-Paul] Saul, were enraged at his apparent blasphemy.  Synagogue leaders stirred up the people to the point of getting him before the Sanhedrin, where he was accused of blasphemy, a capital crime.  His serenity in this situation shows us the Spirit's power and his faith.  He likely had already put himself in the Lord's hands.  In the gospel Jesus said the work of God is to believe in the one he sent.  Stephen lived it fully, and died for it; His ministry and trust in God are examples for us.
    • Christ feeding the multitude (Coptic icon)
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Angel-face":  Angels "fix [their] eyes on Jesus."  They're God's messengers, waiting for a message to deliver or command to execute; they center their existence on Jesus.  Angels are always ready; an army of them stood ready "at a moment's notice" to rescue Jesus as he was about to be arrested.  They were prepared to battle on command, faces fixed on God.  The Sanhedrin members fixed their eyes intently on Stephen, but his face was like an angel's, eyes focused on the Lord, not his circumstances. His final words were those of Jesus crucified.  May we fix our eyes on Jesus.
    • Passionist:  In the gospel Jesus is identified as “the carpenter's son.”  The townspeople seem hostile to Jesus, pointing to his roots vs. his reputation as teacher, prophet and healer, but his roots highlight his embrace of our humanity and give dignity to labor.  The Genesis reading gives another source of that dignity:  we're made in God's image.  God gave us stewardship over the earth and its creatures; “dominion” connotes acting on God's behalf to protect and nourish, caring for the poor and vulnerable, not exploiting.  Our labor is to help build up God’s kingdom, ensuring that the earth remains life-giving.  All work is to be in service of humanity and our common home.  As we remember Joseph whose labor supported the Son of God, let us honor human work and rededicate ourselves to protecting and caring for our common home.
    •  "Labor for the food which endures":  After Jesus multiplied the loaves, what were the people seeking him hungry for?  Things that satisfy heart and soul? Jesus echoes Isaiah: "Why spend your money for what isn't bread, your labor for what doesn't satisfy?"  Only God can satisfy our hunger for truth, life, and love.  Jesus offers a new relationship with God and a life of love, service, forgiveness, holiness, and trust; this is the work Jesus directs us to and enables us to perform in the power of the Spirit.
    • 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 labor.”   See Wikipedia on Catholic social teaching.
    Special greetings to and prayers for the community at

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