5th Tuesday of Easter
Memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker
Colossians 3:14-15, 17, 22-24; Matthew 13:54-55
Having clothed ourselves in Christ, we are called to pick up our cross and follow wherever He leads. It takes courage to live in love, when confronted by hatred. It takes courage to do what is right while being pressured to do the right thing. It takes courage to remain faith to one’s commitment, in the face of apparent betrayal. It takes courage to participate in God’s salvific plan when no one else seems to care. Saint Joseph is a man of faith whose life displayed such great courage.
As we celebrate this man of faith, let us place ourselves at the service of one another. As disciples of the One who became poor to make us rich must be willing to be merciful and compassionate towards those in need. It is our duty to forgive one another, offering freely the forgiveness we have freely received. Forgiveness is the sign that the peace of God is in our hearts. The Word who became Flesh uses us to bring about the new creation. Whatever we are employed in, let us do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in total dependence on him.
Anyone who willing to place himself at the service of the Kingdom will become an instrument of salvation for the world and thereby give glory to God with the work of his hands. The Lord we serve was proud to be known as the son of an honest tradesman, a carpenter. It was in the hands of this craftsman that unfinished pieces of wood were fitted together. Under his trained eyes, the rough surfaces were planed smooth and sharp edges sanded down. Knots and twists became part of a greater design. Blemishes and irregularities were not discarded but used to give character to the finished creation. In deed, “The heavens declare the glory of God and their expanse display His handiwork” (Ps. 19:1). We need to learn how to view things with the eyes of faith and to keep ourselves open to the surprises of the Sprit.
In the hands of the craftsman, various pieces are fitted together in harmony. In the mind’s eye of one filled with love and compassion, ordinary and simple things become precious works of art. Saint Joseph was just such a craftsman. He is a man of great courage and conviction who listened to the word of God, discerned what that word was calling him to do and acted upon it. Being formed by the Word, he was a man of mercy and compassion. The Craftsman from Nazareth continued the creative work of God. Under the watchful eye and patient mentoring of Saint Joseph, the Creator of the Universe became a skilled carpenter.
The righteous and just man from Nazareth to whom was entrusted the care and protection of the Virgin Mary and her son, has also been entrusted with the care and protection of the Universal Church. Saint Joseph is presented to us as a role model. By using his creative talents he gave glory to God, provided for the needs of his family and became an example for all laborers. Human work is sacred because it is redemptive. The Lord continues to call us to live and work with Him. He invites us to follow him in a relationship of intimacy and communion. When he comes again in glory, may he bring us all into everlasting life.