Gospel: Matthew 13:54-58
Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.
They were astonished and said,
“Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter’s son?
Is not his mother named Mary
and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Are not his sisters all with us?
Where did this man get all this?”
And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and in his own house.”
And he did not work many mighty deeds there
because of their lack of faith.
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for Vocations to Priesthood & Religious.
For 30 years, Jesus lived under the watchful care of Joseph and Mary. Being recognized as “the carpenter’s son”, I think, would have made Jesus proud of his adoptive father. Carpentry may not be a lucrative job, but it is an honourable job, nonetheless. By the sweat of his brow, Joseph not only ensured that there is food on the table, but more so, he nurtured Jesus in such a way that prepared our Lord to proclaim the Gospel at the right time. St Josemaria Escriva once wrote, “Jesus worked in Joseph’s workshop and by Joseph’s side…Jesus must have resembled Joseph: in his way of working, in the features of his character, in his way of speaking. Jesus’ realism, his eye for detail, the way he sat at table and broke bread, his preference for using everyday situations to give doctrine – all this reflects his childhood and the influence of Joseph.”
In this time of pandemic our front liners have come to the fore. We, and especially the young members of our parish, may have also been identified as children of “Doctors, nurses, storekeepers and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caregivers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public safety” (Pope Francis). Like our Lord, we may have felt proud to be identified as such. Like Jesus, we may have been inspired, influenced by, and had the same job as our elders, or perhaps have chosen a different career. As we celebrate the feast day of St Joseph the Worker, let us give thanks for the gift of work and for the gift of labourers all over the world. Let us also take this moment to think of the reality and harshness of unemployment. As Pope Francis wrote in Patris Corde: “The loss of employment that affects so many of our brothers and sisters and has increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, should serve as a summons to review our priorities. Let us implore Saint Joseph the Worker to help us find ways to express our firm conviction that no young person, no person at all, no family should be without work!”
- What lessons can you take to be identified as a child, relative, or friend of a front liner?
- “Working persons, whatever their job may be, are cooperating with God himself, and in some way become creators of the world around us.” (Pope Francis). How does your work cooperate with God’s work in the world?
- How can St Joseph influence you as a Catholic worker?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. Through the prayers and example of St Joseph, bless all workers that their work may mirror Your mercy. Bless too all those who are struggling with poor and unjust working conditions as well as those who are unemployed. Amen.