Joseph, the Worker
1st Reading: Gen 1:26—2:3 (or Col 3:14-15, 17, 23-24)
God said, “Let us make man in our image, to our likeness. Let them rule over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, over the wild animals, and over all creeping things that crawl along the ground.” So God created man in his image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it, rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky, over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
God said, “I have given you every seed-bearing plant which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree that bears fruit with seed. It will be for your food. To every wild animal, to every bird of the sky, to everything that creeps along the ground, to everything that has the breath of life, I give every green plant for food.” So it was.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. There was evening and there was morning: the sixth day.
That was the way the sky and earth were created and all their vast array. By the seventh day the work God had done was completed, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had done. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he rested from all the work he had done in his creation.
Gospel: Matthew 13:54-58
Jesus went to his hometown and taught the people in their synagogue. They were amazed and said, “Where did he get this wisdom and these special powers? Isn’t he the carpenter’s son? Isn’t Mary his mother and aren’t James, Joseph, Simon and Judas his brothers? Aren’t all his sisters living here? How did he get all this?” And so they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them, “The only place where prophets are not welcome is their hometown and in their own family.” And he did not perform many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
I used to know a very pious lady who would never refer to St. Joseph by name, but as “The Holy Old Man.” Every time I heard it, I felt pain for the many men I know who have been weakened and faded – denatured – by an unreal spirituality. Why old? We make Joseph old in order to weaken him. It is as if we can not take the full presence of an adult man. Since we know so little about him, we have molded St. Joseph according to our image of what a holy man is. We need to restore his masculinity to him. Today’s feast could be a good beginning: he is not Joseph the Faded, the intellectual, the weak; he is Joseph the Worker.
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