May 1 Feast of Joseph the Worker.
PATRON: Carpenters, Fathers,
Social Justice and other causes.
Issue: Judging people's worth in the work world.
We know nothing of the details of St. Joseph’s life but we do know from scripture the really important things. “He was a righteous man”(Matthew 1:18), “he was not rich”(Luke 2:24). He was a carpenter and a working man. He was obviously a man of great faith, believing and obeying God’s commands. He married Mary despite his doubts and took the Holy Family to Egypt, waiting there until told to return - all done at God’s command. These were not easy things to do especially in St Joseph’s lifetime.
Apart from those two events his life seems to have been one of quiet every day courageous living, obeying God’s direct commands when they came, but otherwise living much as we hope to do today. We earn our living and follow as well as we can the words of God as they come to us through the scriptures and the Church.
So far as we know Joseph had done nothing dramatically heroic in his life but must have listened to and followed the Words of God to the very best of his ability. His example tells us that we also can listen to God, live our ordinary lives, and have the courage to be righteous people.
- Many make judgments about a wage earner’s worth on his level of education and whether the work and status in society is the result of university education.
- Others judge a person’s place in society by whether the clothes and the person get dirty
- Youth in our community may need help to get a meaningful job (trade training, apprenticeship, extra schooling)
- Families may need support because of the absence of a father figure, or the fact that the father worker is himself facing difficulties in fulfilling his role.
- Does the Church need help in delivering this message in our area?
- What in our lives can we as ordinary people do to follow the example of St. Joseph to become righteous people?
- As with St. Joseph, can we begin with a prayerful life?
- Can we help people who need work and families in distress?
- Show respect and support for all families no matter who the wage earner is. Develop in all around us a healthy attitude to learning at whatever level, especially in trade skills.
- Accept the responsibility of helping community youth. Examples, Scouts, Guides, Church groups, activity clubs and less competitive sports.
- Take action wherever possible to de-emphasize Macjobs for those attending school.
Enhance both the conditions and nobility of work among employers and employees.