My Thoughts on 01/05/2021

Today is the feast of St Joseph the Worker. The image we have here in St Thomas’s was created by Mother Concordia, a Benedictine Nun at Minster on the Isle of Thanet. She depicts him wearing a carpenters apron with a set square in the pocket of the apron and holding an image of St. Peter’s in Rome in his arms. A wonderful representation for this feast. It was instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1955 to foster deep devotion to Saint Joseph among Catholics, and in response to the “May Day” celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists.

It is important to remember that the Catholic Church teaches that the economy must serve the people. Too often the marketplace takes precedence over the rights of workers. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation.

The rights to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organisation of unions, to private property, and to economic initiative are all part of protecting the dignity of work by protecting the rights of the workers. Respecting these rights promotes an economy that protects human life, defends human rights, and advances the well-being of all.

Joseph, by the work of your hands
and the sweat of your brow,
you supported Jesus and Mary,
and had the Son of God as your fellow worker.

Teach me to work as you did,
with patience and perseverance, for God and
for those whom God has given me to support.
Teach me to see in my fellow workers
the Christ who desires to be in them,
that I may always be charitable and forbearing
towards all.

Grant me to look upon work
with the eyes of faith,
so that I shall recognise in it
my share in God’s own creative activity
and in Christ’s work of our redemption,
and so take pride in it.

When it is pleasant and productive,
remind me to give thanks to God for it.
And when it is burdensome,
teach me to offer it to God,
in reparation for my sins
and the sins of the world.

(Note: This prayer was taken from the booklet “Devotions to Saint Joseph” by Brian Moore, S.J., printed and published by the Society of St. Paul.)

Canon Father Anthony
Canon Father AnthonyParish Priest