May | Hardworking
Model of Workers
This month we honor Saint Joseph the Worker. Work was part of God’s original design in the Garden of Eden. Work fulfills God’s command in Genesis to care for the earth and to be fruitful in labor. Work has dignity and it is part of what it means to be human. Work is not simply about the material things of this world; there is a spiritual dimension to it, as well. Part of the dignity of work is that it is a participation in the creative work of God. Through our labor we participate as co-creators with God. Work, of itself, is good. It was only after the Fall that work could be colored by frustration, weariness and dissatisfaction. Even so, there remains immeasurable worth to work, however simple it may be.
St. Joseph knew what it was to work by the sweat of his brow. St. Joseph was a humble carpenter. In keeping with the duties of a father, he had the weighty task of caring for and raising Jesus, of feeding, clothing and educating him in the faith of Israel – and in a trade. St. Joseph passed on his knowledge of woodworking to Jesus and he instilled into his son his own work ethic.
The dignity of work comes from the good it provides. It’s about any work done in a spirit of service. Work for St. Joseph was the daily expression of his love in the life of the family of Nazareth. It was an expression of his love for Jesus and Mary. He provides for them with his own hands. In teaching Jesus the skills of a carpenter and the importance of labor, St. Joseph must have also taught Jesus the importance of balancing work with time for rest, for prayer, for recreation, and for family. St. Joseph is our example of how to integrate work with family. He shows us how to work with right emphasis. He teaches us how to labor centering our work on the Lord. Jesus was honored to work beside Joseph in the workshop. Because the Son of God was not ashamed to humbly labor, work has been imbued with a new dignity through the mystery of the Incarnation. Following St. Joseph’s example, followers of Jesus can find sanctification through their work and can give honor to God.
St. Joseph, teach us how to work conscientiously, to work with gratitude, joy, moderation, and patience, without shrinking from weariness and difficulties. Help us to work with purity of intention and selflessness.
What does St. Joseph’s example mean for me?
Memorial of St. Joseph | May 1st
June | Silence
Lover of Poverty
Actions speak louder than words. This maxim certainly applies to St. Joseph. There are no recorded words of St. Joseph found in the Gospels and, after recounting the events surrounding Christ’s birth, and his finding in the temple, St. Joseph disappears. But his actions tells us about his character, and his silence stands as his profound witness.
The silence of St. Joseph was one of faith; he embraced the seemingly impossible. It was one of trustworthiness; he diligently protected the mysteries of the Incarnation and the Divine Maternity. It was one of humility; he sought no praise or admiration though he was the chosen husband of the Immaculate Virgin and the earthly father of the Son of God. His silence was one of fidelity to the will of God; he willingly disappeared into the mission God gave him, unnoticed in the ordinary circumstances of day-to-day life. His was a silence full of patience; in his trials he sought consolation only from God and endured all for the sake of Jesus and Mary.
St. Joseph’s quiet example shows us the importance of honest and sincere action in the face of the temptation to rely on empty, prideful, self-promoting, attention-seeking words. Besides being a man of silence, St. Joseph was a lover of poverty. St. Joseph lived by his trade, having no other resources. The Holy family was poor, and they lived in Nazareth, the poorest and most despised of cities.
St. Joseph shows us that true happiness is not to be found in materials possessions, good as they may be. Things can easily distract us from what is truly important. St. Joseph’s example shows that when emptied of material possessions - and even the attachment to them - we are better able to hear the voice of God and to faithfully fulfill our vocation in life.
There is a deeper poverty than material poverty. Do we recognize our spiritual poverty? We struggle with sin, with disbelief, with discouragement, with inconstancy, with selfishness. St. Joseph shows us there’s more. We are all spiritually poor, but we are saved by Love! We are invited to experience God’s profound gift of mercy. In letting go, in surrendering self, we become poor in a fantastic new way. Our hearts are freed! Our heart is set free of our ego, our pride, our desire to control, our “me-first” tendencies. Our hearts become empty and available to be filled by God! We are better able to establish and grow in our relationship with Him. We are better able to live out the mission He has given each of us, in the way He wills.
How can I become a lover of poverty, how can I imitate St. Joseph’s example of silence - in body, in mind, and in spirit? Silent St. Joseph, lover of poverty, pray for me.
Votive Mass | June 2nd
A Consecration to St Joseph
Ideally, families and groups could organize themselves to make the consecration together. Fr. Calloway’s book includes material for six weeks of group meetings leading up to the consecration. On the final day a simple ceremony could be planned where the group recites the consecration prayer together led by their pastor or parochial vicar following the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
To make a 33-day consecration, we recommend that you use the new book Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC.
The chart below lists suggested dates for making the consecration during the Year of St. Joseph
|START DATE||FEAST DAY||CONSECRATION DAY|
|February 15, 2021||Solemnity of St. Joseph||March 19, 2021|
|March 30, 2021||St. Joseph the Worker||May 1, 2021|
|April 11, 2021||Our Lady of Fatima||May 13, 2021|
|July 20, 2021||Our Lady of Knock||August 21, 2021|
|September 30, 2021||All Saints||November 1, 2021|
|November 25, 2021||Holy Family||December 27, 2021|