READINGS for 2006-05-01
Feast of St. Joseph the Worker
Let us make man in our image...? Genesis1:26
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Lord, grant me the gift of truth at all times.
This Feast was established in order to counter the May Day parades celebrating the rise of communism in Eastern Europe. As we reflect today on the life of the father of Jesus it is good to reflect upon the dignity of work and its necessity for human dignity and fulfillment. Through work, the human person shares in the task of transforming this world and him or her self into the image and likeness of God. Each person shares in the creative power of God in helping to bring about His Kingdom in our lives.
26 Then God said: ?Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.? 27 God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them, saying: ?Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.? 29 God also said: ?See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; 30 and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food.? And so it happened. 31 God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed ? the sixth day. 2: 1 Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. 2 Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.
P S A L M
Psalm 90:2, 3-4, 12-13, 14 and 16
R: Lord, give success to the work of our hands.
2 Before the mountains were begotten and the earth and the world were brought forth, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (R) 3 You turn men back to dust, saying, ?Return, O children of men.? 4 For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night. (R) 12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. 13 Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants! 14 Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. 16 Let your work be seen by your servants and your glory by their children. (R)
G O S P E L
We know very little about the home life of Jesus but it is clear that he grew up in Nazareth. It is amazing to read that the people of Nazareth, those who would have known him best, seemed to be least able to accept the Gospel! Perhaps they found it difficult to accept that someone they knew so well had an identity that they could hardly have imagined. Whatever the reason, let us ensure that, to the best of our ability,we do not allow our familiarity with the things of God to affect our faith in Him. Let us also never be afraid of hard work as through it we contribute to God?s plan of creation.
54 He 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? 55 Is he not the carpenter?s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 56 Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?? 57 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.? 58 And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.
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A TRIBUTE TO THE WORKER
Today, we celebrate the memorial of Joseph the Worker. More than celebrating the dignity of work, we celebrate the dignity of the worker. The reading from Genesis speaks of the inherent dignity that lies in the very fiber of our existence. The very moment God loved us into existence, He encoded in us the privilege of being like Him and thus being co-creators with Him. He didn?t leave us a static world but one that we could shape and change and care for. He gave us the power to work.
Father, bless the tasks that lay before me today. Sanctify them and make them fruitful. More than that, I ask that You teach me to rest. Teach me to find my home in You.
St. Joseph the Worker, pray for us.
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