May 1

St. Joseph the Worker


Joseph had to provide for his family by the work of his hands and the sensitivity of his spirit. He was not a rich man. Rather, he earned his livelihood by practicing a craft. The material with which he worked was without form, shape or utility until his creative vision transformed it into something new. The success of his creativity brought the necessities of life to his family. Joseph was a craftsman. He lived his life in creative expression at the service of his community. What satisfaction he must 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 economic climate. The causes are complex but that does not excuse us from examining the situation and exploring the reasons. Today, we are reminded of Joseph the workman and the rights of people, no matter their gender, to honest work and a fair wage.


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


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 the present problems. Support policies which aim to correct 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

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
Proverbs 14:23

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

 It’s amazing to me that, in the 42 years since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, women today still receive fewer wages than men for the same work.
Mike Honda