Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The work of our hands

     Saint Joseph is known as the spouse of Mary, the foster father of her son, Jesus, a good and righteous man, patron of a happy death (surrounded by the people you most deeply love, how could it not be happy), patron of the Universal Church, and celebrated on this day, May 1st, as Joseph, the Worker.

     Psalm 128 says: "Blessed are all who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!  By the labor of your hands you shall eat; blessed are you, and blessed will you be, alleluia."  In the Collect of today's Mass, the prayer says "O God, Creator of all things, who laid down for the human race the law of work ...".

     God blesses work and lifts it to the level of vocation.  God invites us to take the raw materials that he offers and, joining with him in his creative spirit, to create, to make all things new, to build a better world.  Even Adam and Eve were given a work to do as stewards of creation, and even after the Fall, God never withdrew his invitation and challenge to work with him (only now it was with the "sweat of their brow").   Sometimes our work is not appealing (Moses did not take to being a spokesperson before the Prince of Egypt).  Sometimes the work is without thanks.  Sometimes the results are not seen.  But sometimes they are, and if done in the spirit of the Creator God and under the inspiration of this good man called Joseph, they become a blessing.  May we discern the work that God is calling us to.  May we pray to God through Joseph's intercession for the grace to do our best.  And may we give thanks for being blest and being a blessing.   Happy Feast of Saint Joseph!

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