In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all, because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
Mark 6: 3
This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?’
The gospel of the Lord…
“SAINT JOSEPH, MODEL OF WORKERS FOR OUR TIME”
May 1 is a national holiday that commemorates “Workers’ day,” a day which the Church points us to Saint Joseph, a diligent example and model of workers. Put differently, as a way of promoting and encouraging devotion to Saint Joseph among Catholics, and in response to the “May Day” celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker was instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1955. In his declaration, Pope Pius XII said of St. Joseph, “The spirit flows to you and to all men from the heart of the God-man, Saviour of the world, but certainly, no worker was evermore 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.”
Saint Joseph, who in the Bible is recognized as a just man, is the one who reveals with his own life that God the Father works, and through Him, work is sanctified. Unfortunately, most Christians, have a distorted view on the subject of work, and therefore, do everything to get rid of it. Sanctifying our work is the mission of all Christians. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us: “The sign of man’s familiarity with God is that God places him in the garden. There he lives ‘to till it and keep it.’ Work is not yet a burden, but rather the collaboration of man and woman with God in perfecting the visible creation.” (CCC #378). This is so because right from the Book of Genesis, the dignity of human work has long been contemplated as a participation in the creative work of God. By work, humankind both fulfills the command found in Genesis to care for the earth (Gen. 2:15) and to be productive in their labours. Saint Joseph, the carpenter and father of Jesus, is but one example of the sanctity of human labour. Thus, we can say that work is a path of sanctification in which men must adhere in order to contribute to the growth of the society; for it is part of the cultural evolution of man, throughout history. Little wonder Saint Paul exhorts: “Whatever your work is, put your heart into it as done for the Lord and not for human beings, knowing that the Lord will repay you by making you his heirs. It is Christ the Lord that you are serving.” (Col 3, 23-24)
Sadly, we face many difficulties within the context of work in the society today: unemployment, injustice, slavery, dehumanization and laws that do not benefit workers. Even living in a materialistic society, which divides people by the type of work they do and which values the human being for what he receives, the Church wants us to remember the dignity of work by setting St. Joseph as an example of one who laboured diligently for the good of his family and society. Jesus, too, was a carpenter (Mk. 6:3). He learned the trade from his father, Saint Joseph and spent his early adult years working side-by-side in Joseph’s carpentry shop before the commencement of his ministry. Pope John Paul II in his Encyclical, “Laborem Exercens” writes: “The Church considers it her duty to speak out on work from the viewpoint of its human value and of the moral order to which it belongs, and she sees this as one of her important tasks within the service that she renders to the evangelical message as a whole. At the same time, she sees it as her particular duty to form a spirituality of work which will help all people to come closer, through work, to God, the Creator and Redeemer, to participate in his salvific plan for man and the world and to deepen their friendship with Christ in their lives by accepting, through faith, a living participation in his threefold mission as Priest, Prophet and King, as the Second Vatican Council so eloquently teaches.”
Faced with a colossal problem of unemployment on the backdrop of corruption in a country like ours, the Church continues to speak truth to power and calls the faithful to continually place their trust in God in prayers and use their God-given talents to be inventive, rooting out all forms of laziness, while waiting for justice as everyone collaborates to vote for God-fearing and honest leaders in government who would create more employment opportunities.
Therefore, let us try to discover today and always, continuously, the presence of Saint Joseph in our families and society; and he will continue to be, as he always has been, our protector and model. May he also remind us to diligently treat those who work under our care and not dehumanize them or use them as though they were machines. May Saint Joseph continually intercede for all workers, for those receiving unjust wages or salaries, for those awaiting promotion at their places of work, for retirees with unworthy income, for those who live in the instability of the informal economy, for those who live without even a home, and most especially all the unemployed and those who are out of work, looking up to God for justice in an imbalanced and corrupt society like ours. Above all, as St. Joseph worked diligently, humbly, and silently in his carpentry shop to provide for the Holy Family, we, too, are called to work in humility and diligence for the greater glory of God (© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ)
As you embark on a family vacation or other travels, invoke the powerful intercession of St. Christopher, patron of travelers.
St. Christopher is well known as the patron saint of travelers. This is due in large part to a medieval legend in which the saint carries the Christ Child over a river. If he was given the care of the baby Jesus during his travels, wouldn’t he be a perfect patron for our own adventures?
Here is a popular prayer to St. Christopher that invokes his intercession during our travels. Whether you are traveling on your own or with your family, pray to God through the intercession of St. Christopher. Many have attributed their safety to this fascinating saint and are at peace when they know he is with them.
POWERFUL PRAYER TO SAINT CHRISTOPHER FOR SAFE TRAVELS
Dear Saint Christopher, you have inherited a beautiful name, Christ-bearer, as a result of the wonderful legend
that while carrying people across a raging stream you also carried the Child Jesus.
Teach us to be true Christ-bearers to those who do not know Him.
Protect all of us that travel both near and far and petition Jesus to be with us always.
Give your warning sign if danger is near so that I may stop while the path is clear.
Be at my window and direct me through when the vision blurs from out of the blue.
Carry me safely to my destined place, like you carried Christ in your close embrace. Amen
St. Christopher, pray for us, and all those who invoke thy aid!
O most provident guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ. Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin. Our most mighty protector, graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness. And just as you once saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity. Shield each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.
Saint Joseph answers Prayers!
If Saint Joseph does not grant graces, he would not be Saint Joseph!!
Through the intercession of Saint Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, and St. Christopher, Patron of Travelers, may the Lord bless + us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
Compiled by Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, Vila Medeiros, São Paulo, Brazil
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?