"God has created me to do him some definite service; he has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission - I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I have a part in a great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons." Blessed John Henry Newman
The feast of St. Joseph the Worker was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955 in order to Christianize the concept of labor and give to all workmen a model and a protector. By the daily labor in his shop, offered to God with patience and joy, St. Joseph provided for the necessities of his holy spouse and of the Incarnate Son of God, and thus became an example to all laborers. "Workmen and all those laboring in conditions of poverty will have reasons to rejoice rather than grieve, since they have in common with the Holy Family daily preoccupations and cares"(Leo XIII).
Today's reading are striking. Think about the words of Genesis for a moment.
"God created man in his image; in his divine image he created him; male and female he created them."
In short, man himself is already the image of God in his capacity to think, to choose, to be free, to use his intellect, to be creative and such.
Think about that today.
Now part of being in the image of God is doing what God does. According to our first reading God rested on the sabbath from all his work. "So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation."
God rested from all his work.
All this day of the Feast of Joseph the Worker, it is important to remember not only the necessity of rest but the command to rest, keep holy the sabbath.
What does out work mean if we never rest?
Especially in today's fast pace reality, rest is essential to life, to a good life.
We are told to keep the seventh holy. It is kept holy by imitating God, doing what God does. He rest. If the eternal being that is all powerful and all present chooses to rest after his labor of creation, how much more should we enter int o that productive stand still we call rest.
Jesus rest often in the gospel. He probably learned from St. Joseph himself.
As we ponder the work of Joseph's hands at his trade as a carpenter, should we not stop to contemplate his rest, his reprieve from work to better appreciate the holiness of his life.
Here are the words of Pope Francis on this wednesday audience: