May 1

St. Joseph the Worker
Reflection

 Joseph was not a rich man.  He had to provide for his family by the work of his hands, and he earned his livelihood as a carpenter. His craft was vital to the life of his community. His shop, not a large showroom, was where his neighbors could get their necessities and he provided them by his own labor. They depended on him. He was one of those whose hard work made the community function.  In our city now, we can recognize our own Josephs.  They are the men and women whose services keep us functioning each day: the hospital workers and medical personnel, those who supply our food and vital services, the ones responsible for transportation, and so many others on whom we depend.  They are the hardworking base of our society who are so often invisible and taken for granted. The present crisis has shown us those on whom we rely, those whom we really cannot do without. Our Josephs.

Prayer

Let us be grateful for all those who generously offer themselves for others.

Action

Be aware of those who are keeping us functioning in spite of personal risk. Be grateful not only to the medical personnel but to all the hidden workers whose importance has suddenly become visible. Consider the inequities in their recompense.  When the crisis passes, do not forget them.

Suggested Readings

Coming to His own country Jesus taught them in the synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son?
Matthew 13:54

Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.
Deuteronomy 24:14

I renew my closeness to all who are sick and to those who care for them, to the many workers and volunteers that help the persons who cannot leave their homes, as well as to all those who reach out to the very poor and the homeless. I am grateful for the effort that each of you make to help people in this hard moment.
Pope Francis

We owe a profound debt of gratitude to all our health professionals and everybody who’ll be on the front lines of this pandemic for a long while. They’re giving everything. May we all model our own behavior on their selflessness and sacrifice as we help each other through this.
Barack Obama

Our health care workers are doing God’s work. They are doing God’s work!
Andrew Cuomo

Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
Khalil Gibran

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
Theodore Roosevelt

To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.
John Dewey

Tags: