JOSEPH THE WORKER
"Jesus came to his home town and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?’ And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour except in their own country and in their own house.’ And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief." Matthew 13:54-58
Carpenters probably weren't building houses,
because they were built primarily of stone or mud brick.
Instead, Joseph likely made yokes for oxen,
household and farming tools, doors for homes, and furniture.
Joseph probably taught Jesus the craft.
His family may have passed the skills of the trade
from father to son for generations.
In many ways, Joseph was ordinary,
like many of the men of his day.
At the same time,
he represents some of the highest ideals.
‘Come to me, all you that are weary
and are carrying heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me;
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus, raised as the son of Joseph, a carpenter,
probably learned carpentry.
What if he wasn’t particularly good at carpentry?
What if he tried to learn, and Joseph tried to teach him,
but he just didn’t have the knack for it?
What if his doors weren’t straight,
and his tables and chairs wobbled?
What if he often hit his thumb with the hammer?
Most Christians probably imagine the human Jesus as a Mr. Perfect.
Hail Joseph, passed over among men,
Generations shall rise and say: ‘Who’s he?’
I am the man God set aside,
the man God did not need to light this light,
the man God could not use to fire this fuse.
(I didn’t even get to choose the name)
I lost all this, I lost my place in time and this instead,
this unsought gift which comes
through my hands and heart and head.
I was given the ability to care and raise this boy-child
to be a different kind of man …
And to be a different man myself …
Hail Joseph, blessed among men.
Let this same mind be in you which was also in Joseph,
Who did not think equality with God something to be snatched at,
But humbled himself, taking the form of a carer,
He was obedient before the gift of life,
Even life given without the help of a man….
Hail Joseph, Godfather of God.
PRAYER AND THANKS
JESUS THE CARPENTER'S SON
Incarnate by the Holy Spirit, born of your servant Mary;
Jesus the Carpenter’s son lived as one of us, yet without sin. To the poor Christ proclaimed the good news of salvation; to prisoners, freedom; to the sorrowful, joy.
Jesus the Carpenter's son took the wood of the cross
and fashioned it for our salvation.
And that we might live no longer for ourselves,
you sent the Holy Spirit, to complete this work in the world,
and to bring to fulfilment the sanctification of all.
To you indeed be glory, almighty God.
Heavenly Father, whose Son grew in wisdom and stature in the home of Joseph the carpenter of Nazareth and on the wood of the cross perfected the work of the world's salvation: help us to count the wisdom of the world as foolishness, and to walk with him in simplicity and trust; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
IN OUR WORK...
Lord - whatever we make,
Give us a sense of wonder.
Whatever we build,
Give us a glimpse of glory.
Wherever we travel,
Give us a sense of reverence.
Whoever we meet,
Give us a sense of awe.
Whatever we do,
Give us a sense of achievement. David Adam.
Grant me to look upon work with the eyes of faith,
so that I shall recognize in it
my share in God’s own creative activity
and in Christ’s work of our redemption,
and so take pride in it.
Lord Jesus Christ,
we acknowledge your rule over every realm of life:
We journey with you in prayer…...
Son of Mary: consecrate our homes.
Son of David: cleanse our politics.
Son of God: grant us eternal life.
Jesus the Carpenter: hallow our daily work.
Jesus the Saviour: save us from ourselves.
Jesus the Life-giver: renew your Church.
Jesus the Crucified: reveal your love and power to all who suffer.
Jesus the King: raise us to live and reign with you for ever.
Jesus the Word of God: perfect your creation
and bring the world to the knowledge of your love.
Jesus – be our companion and our guide. Amen.
In Patris corde (“With a father’s heart”) Pope Francis wanted to share some “personal reflections” on the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic,” he said, noting that many people had made hidden sacrifices during the crisis in order to protect others.
“Each of us can discover in Joseph the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence; an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble,” he wrote. “St. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”
“In his relationship to Jesus, Joseph was the earthly shadow of the heavenly Father: he watched over him and protected him, never leaving him to go his own way,” Pope Francis said that the contemporary world required examples of true fatherhood. “Our world today needs fathers. It has no use for tyrants who would domineer others as a means of compensating for their own needs”.
“In the Gospels, St. Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love.”
“Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.” - Pope Francis. 8th December 2020.
Saint Joseph the Worker, Spouse of Mary, Guardian of Christ,
Pray for us.