SATURDAY, FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER
Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker (Gen 1:26-2:3 or Col 3:14-15, 17, 23-24; Ps 90:2-4, 12-14, 16-17; Mt 13:54-58.)
Reading 1: Acts 13:44-52 Paul and Barnabas run into opposition in the Antioch synagogue, as a result they delight the Gentiles by promising to come to them.
Gospel: Jn 14: 7-14 Jesus claims oneness with the Father and assures the apostles that anything they ask in his name he will do.
JOSEPH, FULFILLER OF THE DIVINE PLAN
Being the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of Saint Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church by Pope Pius IX in 1870, this year has been dedicated to St Joseph by Pope Francis. For this occasion, the Holy Father has written an apostolic letter, Patris Corde (“With a Father’s Heart”) in which he brings out some of Joseph’s beautiful qualities. The Pope says, “Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation.” Today we celebrate International Labour / Workers Day and honour St Joseph. He was declared as ‘Patron of workers’ by Pope Pius XII on 1st May 1955.
Though there is the common dictum “work is worship”, for us Christians, work and worship are not the same. Worship belongs to God alone: therefore, it cannot be equated with any work however great it might be. Nevertheless, the work we do with love and dedication can be a means not only for the betterment of the world but also for our salvation. For us, work is not just a means to earn our daily bread, but a way through which we collaborate with God in the very act of creation. Hence, it is sacred, honourable, and dignified.
Scripture refers to Joseph as “a just man” (Mt 1:19). Like any of us, Joseph was weak, vulnerable and fearful. However, he did not allow his fears, weakness and vulnerability to overpower his faith. Despite finding many hurdles on the way, he surrendered himself to the divine plan. Instead of praying for his gain, he lived every moment to fulfil the task that God had entrusted him with.
“Lord, I was born for you. What do you want of me?” was the constant prayer of St Teresa of Avila. May we not rest satisfied by working for our benefit, but strive constantly to actively commit ourselves to carry out the divine plan for us. May St Joseph, the patron of workers, intercede for us
Resp. Psalm: Ps 98: 1-4 All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
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