St. Joseph and Work
Because the entire human experience was assumed by Jesus, work was transformed by Christ the worker
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC #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: "If any one will not work, let him not eat." Work honors the Creator's gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish. Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.
(CCC #2428) In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for work.
Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community.
A priest told in his homily that a teacher, in one of his Christian Values classes, asked his students to write a brief essay on this topic: What relic of which saint would like to have, if you were to be granted your wish and why? A budding writer had this to say: “I would like to have in a vial some drops of the sweat of Saint Joseph. Reason: Because his sweat would symbolize honest, humble, honorable work. It is because it was by the sweat of his brow that he was able to feed the Son of God, His Mother and himself.”
Vocation: Through labor and work, we give meaning to our existence. We realize that we are not just here to waste time and to occupy space. We have a unique role to play; we have contributions to make in our world.
Stewardship: Through labor and work, we show the highest accountability for all the talents and abilities that nature and education endowed on us.
Service: Through our labor and work, we employ our talents and abilities not only to make a living but to meet the needs of others.
-Fr. JS Benitez