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.
Daily Prayer - 2015-05-01
Dear Lord, help me to be open to you
Everything has the potential to draw forth from me a fuller love and life.
Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment.
I ask that God, through my freedom may orchestrate
my desires in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.
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 13:26-33
When Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue:
"My brothers, children of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him,
and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets
that are read sabbath after sabbath.
For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence,
they asked Pilate to have him put to death,
and when they had accomplished all that was written about him,
they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead,
and for many days he appeared to those
who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.
These are now his witnesses before the people.
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you
that what God promised our fathers
he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus,
as it is written in the second psalm,
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you."
Responsorial Psalm PS 2:6-7, 8-9, 10-11ab
R. (7bc) You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
"I myself have set up my king
on Zion, my holy mountain."
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:
The LORD said to me, "You are my Son;
this day I have begotten you."
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
"Ask of me and I will give you
the nations for an inheritance
and the ends of the earth for your possession.
You shall rule them with an iron rod;
you shall shatter them like an earthen dish."
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
And now, O kings, give heed;
take warning, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him;
with trembling rejoice.
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
Alleluia Jn 14:6R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 14:1-6
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father's house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way."
Thomas said to him,
"Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?"
Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me."
I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read.What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently- will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness.If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to me?
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
Meditation: Acts 13:26-33
View NAB Reading at USCCB.org | Wrong date? Set your time zone.
Saint Joseph the Worker
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you that what God promised our fathers he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children. (Acts 13:32-33)
What do you think about prophecy? Today's Mass readings are like two lamps that illuminate this enigmatic gift. We find the first lamp in Acts, as Paul preaches the gospel to the Jews in Pisidian Antioch. Drawing from traditional messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Scripture, he points to Jesus as their fulfillment. His sermon even includes a verse from today's psalm prophesying about the divine sonship of Christ. In the light of this first lamp, we discover that prophecy reveals Jesus and points people to him! Other Scripture passages confirm this point, that "witness to Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10).
Now, look at today's Gospel reading. Jesus told his disciples that he would go away but would come back for them and welcome them into his Father's house. By the light of this second lamp, we can see that prophecy is meant to encourage people. Even if their delivery sometimes seems harsh, these prophecies are intended to help God's people down the right path. Essentially, prophecy in the Scriptures is nothing more than giving a message from God.
In this sense, we're all meant to prophesy: to give people a message that will help them draw closer to the Lord and to encourage them along their path to him.
Could God give you a special, uplifting word that strikes someone's heart? Absolutely! Especially as you go through your day keeping one ear tuned to his voice. Even if you don't receive a specific message, you still have something to say. You have the story of the dramatic twists and turns that your life has taken and the ways God has revealed himself to you.
Today, come to Jesus with an open heart and mind. Pay attention to the thoughts that come to you in prayer—about your family, a friend, or a neighbor. Does he have a message about his grace that he wants you to share?
"Here I am, Lord! Give me the heart of a prophet!"
Psalm 2:6-11; John 14:1-6
The Psalms and first Holy Scripture say the line ""I myself have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain." I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; this day I have begotten you." Did you see the King on the mountain? It is the Lord. It is Jesus! The thrown we gave Him? A miserable cross of suffering and torment. How many times do we give Him misery instead of joy? What kind of joy and glory and praise do we give our Lord? Think about the place we give Him in our Hearts?!
Jesus speaks: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. " Have faith in ME! To kick off RCIA, we got kicked off on that note...Faith! HAVE FAITH! I said it earlier this week in the emails, it is the Lord speaking! HAVE FAITH! But what is faith? Everything. It is our soul connection with Him. It is what we are to nourish on our journey. And we nourish Him with the Life, Truth, and the Way...JESUS himself. We actually consume Him from the day He walked on earth and He said the bread was now His body, the bread He broke and blessed the way He did and said to do! Are you lost? Want to know the way? KNOW JESUS! Are you wanting life in your life? JESUS IS THE LIFE! Are you tired of lies and darkness!? JESUS IS HERE offering Himself to this day for you on the throne of a King that knows how to love to death...and BEYOND!