Jesus said: "Whatever you do to the least of my brethren you do it to me." If in my name you give a glass of water, you gave it to me. If in my name you receive a little child, you received me. I was hungry, I was naked, I was homeless, you did it to me. So this is what Jesus came to teach us: how to love one another. Not big things, small things, but great love.
–from the book: Thirsting for God: Daily Meditations
✞ "Whenever I go to the chapel, I put myself in the presence of our good Lord, and I say to Him, 'Lord, here I am. Tell me what You would have me do.' If He gives me some task, I am content and I thank Him. If He gives me nothing, I still thank Him since I do not deserve to receive anything more than that. And then, I tell God everything that is in my heart. I tell Him about my pains and my joys, and then I listen. If you listen, God will also speak to you, for with the good Lord, you have to both speak and listen. God always speaks to you when you approach Him plainly and simply." — St. Catherine Laboure
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "If favored souls are sometimes sensibly conscious of the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in our churches, how much more must holy Joseph, whose spiritual senses were so delicate and refined, have felt his heart burn within him with divine charity, from the nearness of Him who now dwelt in Mary as His living tabernacle!" — Edward Healy Thompson, p. 168 AN EXCERPT FROM The Life & Glories of Saint Joseph
✞"Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful." Colossians 3:14-15
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Saint Joseph the Worker
Saint of the Day for May 1
The Story of Saint Joseph the Worker
To foster deep devotion to Saint Joseph among Catholics, and in response to the "May Day" celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists, Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker in 1955. This feast extends the long relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers in both Catholic faith and devotion. Beginning in the Book of Genesis, the dignity of human work has long been celebrated as a participation in the creative work of God. By work, humankind both fulfills the command found in Genesis to care for the earth (Gn 2:15) and to be productive in their labors. Saint Joseph, the carpenter and foster father of Jesus, is but one example of the holiness of human labor.
Jesus, too, was a carpenter. He learned the trade from Saint Joseph and spent his early adult years working side-by-side in Joseph's carpentry shop before leaving to pursue his ministry as preacher and healer. In his encyclical Laborem Exercens, Pope John Paul II stated: "the Church considers it her task always to call attention to the dignity and rights of those who work, to condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights are violated, and to help to guide [social] changes so as to ensure authentic progress by man and society."
Saint Joseph is held up as a model of such work. 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."
To capture the devotion to Saint Joseph within the Catholic liturgy, in 1870, Pope Pius IX declared Saint Joseph the patron of the universal Church. In 1955, Pope Pius XII added the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. This silent saint, who was given the noble task of caring and watching over the Virgin Mary and Jesus, now cares for and watches over the Church and models for all the dignity of human work.
Monday of the Third Week of Easter
Reading 1 Acts 6:8-15
Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyreneans, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they instigated some men to say, "We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God." They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, accosted him, seized him, and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They presented false witnesses who testified, "This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law. For we have heard him claim that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us." All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30 R. (1ab) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! or: R. Alleluia. Though princes meet and talk against me, your servant meditates on your statutes. Yes, your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors. R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! or: R. Alleluia. I declared my ways, and you answered me; teach me your statutes. Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds. R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! or: R. Alleluia. Remove from me the way of falsehood, and favor me with your law. The way of truth I have chosen; I have set your ordinances before me. R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Mt 4:4b R. Alleluia, alleluia. One does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes froth from the mouth of God. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 6:22-29
[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.] The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?" Jesus answered them and said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." So they said to him, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent."
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: John 6:22-29 Saint Joseph the Worker (Optional Memorial)
This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent. (John 6:29)
As a young priest from Pennsylvania, Fr. Walter Ciszek was eager to do God's work as a missionary in the Soviet Union. But things didn't go the way he anticipated. Soon after he entered Russia, he was falsely accused of being a spy and spent years in captivity, first in the infamous Lubyanka prison, and then in various Siberian labor camps.
One day, exhausted by the harsh interrogations, Fr. Ciszek came to the end of himself: "I lost all sense of hope. I saw only my weakness." Desperate, he asked the Lord to help him. As he prayed, he began to see that doing God's work didn't mean performing heroic deeds as he had once thought. Pondering the example of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, he saw that the "work" of God was to cooperate with his grace every day, no matter what his situation.
In today's Gospel, Jesus says that the "work of God" is to believe in him, "the one" the Father sent (John 6:29). Now, of course we believe in Jesus, so there must be more here. And there is! Think back on the difficult moments in your life—perhaps an illness or a financial setback. Maybe you saw the need to exercise your faith in a new way. That's where the "work" comes in. When you face a challenge, it can take some effort to figure out how to cooperate with God's grace in that situation.
In fact, the "work" of believing is not limited to times of crisis. Every day God gives us numerous opportunities to apply our faith to whatever situations we find ourselves in. Even mundane tasks can become gifts from God if we bring them to him and talk about them with him. God loves these casual conversations! He uses them to teach us, to encourage us, and to build up our faith.
This is what Fr. Ciszek learned. He came to see God in each person he met and treated them accordingly. He came to see each painful and grueling task before him as a way to say yes to God. You can do the same!
"Lord, show me how each situation I encounter is a way to do the 'work' of believing in you."
Acts 6:8-15 Psalm 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30
my2cents: The first Holy Scripture said today of St. Stephen "...but they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke." It is the same from there on out until today. And "until" doesn't mean things will change tomorrow. Just like the Virgin Mary was a virgin "until" she had the Lord. It doesn't mean she wasn't ever again a virgin...she is the purest of souls on earth and in Heaven. But when the world can not stand the light, like St. Stephen, the only cheap way out is to kill. That what don't cost nothing, when you can't handle it anymore. Perhaps this is also a choice of suicide, because you can't handle the truth or the load of life and the fastest way out is the cheapest, the path of least resistance, the end. And this is why they kill St. Stephen, so they would not have to resist him any longer. And it still happens, with other religions that chase out Christianity as well as Government and secular thoughts. They rather kill than to "co-exist" as they say. It is a lie, and so the truth become very evident, and it is indeed something to seek and to die for.
We pray today " Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! Though princes meet and talk against me, your servant meditates on your statutes. Yes, your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors."
In comes the Lord ""Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled." Some of the suffering today, suffer because of the lack of nutrition. That union with God. One starving man said to me years ago "I am suffering because I have not had the Eucharist in years". And his body was actually taking a toll and turn for the worse. Then, one day he was allowed back in full communion and took the Eucharist, and now, years later is in full recovery mode. And that is the importance of what God says. We need Him. More than physical food and water, but spiritual nourishment. We need Him and this is why we seek Him. Do not depend on governments, do not depend on the world, for we are not of the world. If someone has provided, it is the Lord. And so, the word we use, Eucharist, means "Thanks" and thanksgiving. It means that I am thankful and I will make my thankfulness more meaningful the more pure my soul becomes. And this makes for a brighter light. The kind that stands out in the world for the Lord, and the kind that St. Stephen had, who was simply an angel of the Lord.
And Jesus is the reason for our love and our light and our life....