Posted by: fvbcdm | May 1, 2017

Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker (1 May 2017)

For many centuries, the Church has held up Saint Joseph to us as the patron of the Universal Church and of the grace of a happy death. He is the patron of the Universal Church because he was the head of the Holy Family of Nazareth, and the Church is the much wider family of Christ throughout the world and down through the years of sacred history.    He is the patron of the grace of a happy death because he seems to have died between the time Our Lord was twelve years old and the time that Jesus died on the cross and entrusted his blessed mother into the care of Saint John the Evangelist who stood with her at the foot of the cross. In what better company can one die than that of Jesus and Mary?

Then, when Karl Marx, Nicolai Lenin, and Josef Stalin spawned the horrors of atheistic communism upon the world, it was decided to establish an international communist labor day to glorify the working man to whom communism paid lip service.  May 1st was the date settled upon for that great godless feast.  So to counteract the blasphemy of a godless feast day, Pope Pius XII, in 1955, instituted the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker and decreed that it would be celebrated on May 1st. Today, as we pray the Liturgy of the Hours, we use as the invitatory antiphon the prayer:  “Come, let us worship Christ the Lord who was honored to be known as the son of a carpenter.”  We pray for all working people, we pray in thanks for our ability to support ourselves and our families by honest work, and we pray for those who are having trouble working and supporting those dependent upon them.

The absurdity of atheistic glorification of work is seen clearly in a funny story that has been circulated for years.  It says that one day, an atheist went before God and said to him, “We don’t need you anymore.  We have perfected all science and technology and can make our own heaven on earth.  So why don’t you just sort of fade away?”  God listened patiently and then said, “Before I do that, let me see you produce a single living human being. That will be proof to me of what you say, and then I’ll fade away as you ask.”  “Fine,” replies the atheist.  So he stoops down to pick up a pile of dirt with which to begin his “creation.”  But God stops him.  “Oh, no!,” he says. “I made that dirt; that’s my dirt.  You go get your own dirt for your creation.”  What does an atheist do in a case like that?  The foolishness of atheism is clearly seen in that simple little story.  The many trees that I can see from my window produce millions of leaves each spring and thousands of acorns.  How many leaves are produced by the void of atheism or by atheists themselves?

May Saint Joseph the Worker bless our world and our Church today and grant us the tremendous grace of dying in the company of his wife and his foster son, Jesus our Lord. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.  Please pray for the souls of the faithful departed, including Father Brown.

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