REFLECTION: ... "Here I am Lord." (Acts of the Apostles 9:10)

St Joseph was the man chosen to raise Jesus. He was also the Spouse of Mary, the Father of Jesus, Man of Faith, Man of Hope, Man of Charity, Man of Courage, Man of Poverty, Man of Purity, Man of Prayer, Man of Virture, Man of Patience and Man of the Church. He is also known as Man of Labor.

There are no recorded words by St Joseph, but if there were, I am sure it would have been, "Here I am Lord." As carpenter he was meticulous and careful to attention. And he taught his Son all he knew. Many of Jesus' parables were of workers-laborers, such as a man building a house, a man building a tower estimating his costs, shepherds, physicians, tax collectors, fisherman, servants, merchants, vineyard owner and goat herders.

The saints saw work as an essential part of life. Human work was looked upon with love and a way that they could be sanctified. Manual labor is good for the soul. The more work done, the higher the spirit and the closer we get to work with creation. Labor is encouraged in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2427: "Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another. Hence work is a duty: (1)

St Paul reminds us, "If any one will not work, let him not eat." ( 2 Thessalonians 3:10) It is necessary for everyone to provide for themselves and ones' dependents.

St Joseph learned from Jesus, the Son of God, and he grew in the knowledge of God. And St Joseph is an excellent example of the holiness of work.

*St Joseph, the Laborer feast day was established in 1955 by Pope Pius XII in response to the "May Day " celebration for workers by the Communists.

(1) Church, U.S. Catholic. Catechism of the Catholic Church (p. 642). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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