< <  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  > >

St. Joseph the Worker

Genesis 1:26—2:3 or
Colossians 3:14-15, 17, 23-24
Psalm 90:2-4, 12-14, 16
Matthew 13:54-58

View Readings
Similar Reflections

faith at work

"He did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith." —Matthew 13:58

On this memorial of St. Joseph the Worker, the Church holds up St. Joseph as an example of a worker who let God have total control over his work. Many people move their families from place to place because of their work. Joseph moved his family from place to place because of his obedient faithfulness to God's commands.

Each time he moved, Joseph had to go back to square one to start his work. He moved from his hometown of Nazareth to Bethlehem because of the census (Lk 2:4). Joseph placed a higher priority on serving Jesus and Mary than on building up his carpentry business. Joseph was a worker, but his main work was to have faith in his Foster-Son, Jesus (Jn 6:29). Working for Jesus took priority over Joseph's job.

God then commanded Joseph to drop everything and flee immediately to Egypt (Mt 2:13). It's doubtful Joseph was even able to bring along his tools. In a new land, with a new language, as a foreigner and refugee, somehow Joseph had to find work and support the Holy Family. "All depends on faith" (Rm 4:16), and Joseph's work was completely guided by his faith (see Jn 6:29).

After a few years, Joseph would have established himself in Egypt. Once again, God called him "out of Egypt" (Mt 2:15) back to his hometown, Nazareth. This time, God prospered the work of Joseph's hands (Ps 90:17) by sending him back to his hometown, his tools, and his original clientele. God restored Joseph's work because Joseph faithfully put his work at the service of God.

Prayer:  Father, may I bring my faith to work every day.

Promise:  "Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being. Do it for the Lord rather than for men." —Col 3:23

Praise:  St. Joseph "did as the angel of the Lord had directed him" (Mt 1:24).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 31, 2011

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.