St. Joseph the Worker
Apparently in response to the "May Day" celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists, Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955. But the relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers has a much longer history. In a constantly necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, ultimately for the building up of the Body of Christ.
In a constantly necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, ultimately for the building up of the Body of Christ.
"The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it" (Genesis 2:15). The Father created all and asked humanity to continue the work of creation. We find our dignity in our work, in raising a family, in participating in the life of the Father's creation. Joseph the Worker was able to help participate in the deepest mystery of creation. Pius XII emphasized this when he said, "The spirit flows to you and to all men from the heart of the God-man, Savior of the world, but certainly, no worker was ever more completely and profoundly penetrated by it than the foster father of Jesus, who lived with Him in closest intimacy and community of family life and work. Thus, if you wish to be close to Christ, we again today repeat, 'Go to Joseph'" (see Genesis 41:44).
In Brothers of Men, René Voillaume of the Little Brothers of Jesus speaks about ordinary work and holiness: "Now this holiness (of Jesus) became a reality in the most ordinary circumstances of life, those of work, of the family and the social life of a village, and this is an emphatic affirmation of the fact that the most obscure and humdrum human activities are entirely compatible with the perfection of the Son of God....this mystery involves the conviction that the evangelical holiness proper to a child of God is possible in the ordinary circumstances of someone who is poor and obliged to work for his living."
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
My soul longs for your presence, Lord.
It is so easy to get caught up
How do I find myself today? Where am I with God? With others? Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.
The Word of God
Reading 1 acts 5:27-33
When the court officers had brought the Apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
"We gave you strict orders did we not,
to stop teaching in that name.
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man's blood upon us."
But Peter and the Apostles said in reply,
"We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."
When they heard this,
they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.
Responsorial Psalm ps 34:2 and 9, 17-18, 19-20
R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Gospel jn 3:31-36
The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.
Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Saint Joseph the Worker
We must obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)
Imagine being a defendant in court, having been arrested for some act of civil disobedience. You know you are guilty, and you don't deny it. The judge, being lenient, tells you, "If you promise never to do this again, I will let you go with a warning." But all you can say is, "Sorry, I can't do that."
That would take a lot of conviction, wouldn't it? You would need to be very sure of what you were doing to openly defy a judge like that. This is exactly what Peter and the apostles did in today's first reading. How did they know that openly defying the Sanhedrin was the right thing to do? And how did they find the courage to do it?
Peter gives us the answer: "We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him" (Acts 5:32). The apostles knew what they had seen: Jesus of Nazareth, risen from the dead. What's more, they experienced the Holy Spirit's power convincing them that Jesus was the Son of God and Israel's long-awaited Messiah. So despite the pressure exerted on them by the Sanhedrin, they couldn't deny or keep quiet about all they had seen and experienced.
What about you? What have you "seen" and experienced? After all, you have the same Holy Spirit who filled the apostles. Has that Spirit brought Christ to life in your heart? Have you felt Jesus' love or mercy? Have you had the experience of joy and confidence that comes as the Spirit moves in you?
Don't dismiss these questions as unrealistic or "super-spiritual"! Millions of people have experienced these blessings over the past two thousand years. Why shouldn't you? And if you've experienced the Spirit like this in the past, why not ask for more today? Jesus gave us the Spirit so that we could continue to grow and deepen our spiritual lives, so why would he give us only a small portion of his grace?
Ask the Spirit to lead you and speak to you today. He has so much more that he wants to give you!
"Holy Spirit, lead me today. Help me recognize your voice; I want to hear you!"
Psalm 34:2, 9, 17-20; John 3:31-36
We must obey God rather than men. I will bless the Lord at all times. The one who comes from above is above all. We read these three lines in different readings today. There is no room for anything else other than God and and God is love. That is the beauty of living a genuine Christian life. Whoever believes has eternal life, and whoever disobeys the Son will lose it and the wrath of God remains upon Him. Last night we covered the daily readings in our co-worker bible study. A question found in a reflection from the Laudate app brought an interesting point, that it's as if we are prisoners in our country by being put in our place with "acceptable acts", in other words, so long as we "conform" to their attitudes we are OK. Hmm. I say nay. I will not be shut up. The abortion industry is trying night and day to shut up pro-life. They are trying hard every day you do not pray. There are good forces and evil forces at work. I used to sell supplemental insurance while I was going to college. I worked with unions and other associations, and I found that I had a hard selling point that sealed the deal many times "...just because you stop doesn't mean the bills are going to stop right?". And it's the same with the faith. Just because you stop praying or believing, doesn't mean the other side has stopped. I kind of laughed last night as I looked at a particular worker in the eyes and said to all, "if you are cruising along life with no troubles, then you may not be doing something right for the Lord" because the devil keeps picking at those who are trying to do right in the Lord. Sucker punched, stabbed in the back, and ridiculed, and cornered many times the saints find themselves. Not that we should focus on that, but give thanks for that, and do this next time; say "thank You Lord" something must be doing good. The day we stop, the day we disobey, is the first day of damnation. Not just for you, but for all those lives you could affect. We live in a cause and effect world. Because God gave His only Son so that we MAY Belive in Him and gain eternal life, we have salvation available to one and to all. I want you to consider this. We can not negate life, and deny life. We have to stand up by kneeling before the Lord. We will all bend our knees regardless if you believe or not, for even the devils acknowledge this. I want you to consider though, what is making you kneel? Am I cruising life avoiding problems? Because if the Apostles today would've tried to avoid problems, they would've backed off and apologized. NO. No they did not back down. Soon, one by one they would be killed, murdered, and for what? FAITH. HAVE FAITH My CHILD