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. He earned his livelihood by practicing a craft which was vital to the life of his community. Neighbors could get their necessities in his shop and he provided them by his own labor. They depended on him. He was one of those whose hard work made the community function. The material with which he worked was without form, shape or utility until his creative vision transformed it into something new. His creativity brought the necessities of life to his family. What satisfaction must he have felt when his work was accepted with appreciation and he brought home his earnings. This is a feeling which many people in this nation do not enjoy in our present climate. Today, we are reminded of Joseph the workman and the rights of people to honest work and a fair wage.

Prayer

Let us remember those who are without work and struggle to support their families.

Action

Think of the economy not as an index of growth or decline but as representing persons who need the dignity and resources of honest work. As a citizen be aware of the past actions, causes and economic philosophies that underlie present problems.

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

 Each of us can discover in Joseph – the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence – an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble. Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation.
Pope Francis

Saint Joseph was a just man, a tireless worker, the upright guardian of those entrusted to his care.
Pope John Paul II

 St. Joseph belongs to the working-class, and he bore the burdens of poverty for himself and the Holy Family, whose tender and vigilant head he was.
Pope Pius XI

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

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