Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/1/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Catholic Church proclaimed a different way than the false materialist ideologies of collectivism, whether they came from the left, as with Marxism, or from the right, as with National Socialism. She proclaimed that the path to true freedom and flourishing is the Way of Jesus Christ.

I am old enough to remember what used to happen on  May 1st, when some Communist Regimes paraded their weapons of destruction through the streets of many major cities in the Capitols of Nations held captive under the boot of Marxist oppression. They call it May Day and International Workers Day. The Marxists proclaimed that a workers' paradise could be achieved through a counterfeit ideology which promised a new man and a new society without need for a Savior. They lied.

St Joseph the Worker

St Joseph the Worker

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/1/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: work, worker, St Joseph, Joseph the Worker, dignity of human work. International Workers Day, May Day, Social Justice, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - I am old enough to remember what used to happen on  May 1st, when some Communist Regimes paraded their weapons of destruction through the streets of many major cities in the Capitols of Nations held captive under the boot of Marxist oppression.

They call it May Day and International Workers Day. The Marxists proclaimed that a worker paradise could be achieved through a counterfeit ideology which promised a new man and a new society without need for a Savior. They lied.

It was during that period of time that the Catholic Church emphasized this Feast of Joseph the Worker. It was intended to make a prophetic statement, expose the lies of that false ideology and proclaim that the only truth which can liberate men, women and nations, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The fullness of that truth subsists within the Catholic Church which He founded. (See, L.G. #8)

The Catholic Church proclaimed a different way than the false materialist ideologies of collectivism, whether they came from the left, as with Marxism, or from the right, as with National Socialism. There are those who claim that National Socialism also comes from the "left". Wherever these two false ideologies come from, in political language, they share a common foundational error and can never lead to authentic freedom.
 
The Church rightly proclaims that the path to true freedom and flourishing is the Way of Jesus Christ.She also affirms that there is a dignity to all human work precisely because of the dignity of every human worker engaged in it. That worker is created in the Image and Likeness of God. That dignity is elevated to an even greater height through the Incarnation of Jesus the Worker of Nazareth.

On this Feast of St. Joseph the Worker we should reflect once again upon the creative and redemptive value of all human work, especially when joined to Christ the Worker. Though the lies of Marxist totalitarianism hold less sway in this hour, other false ideologies have now entrapped cultures once infused with the Christian worldview. 

In the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, the fathers of the Second Vatican Council taught concerning Jesus Christ: "He who is "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15), is Himself the perfect man. To the sons of Adam He restores the divine likeness which had been disfigured from the first sin onward. Since human nature as He assumed it was not annulled, by that very fact it has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect too."

"For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin." (Gaudium et Spes #22)

The Catholic Catechism adds these insights, "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 anyone will not work, let him not eat." (2 Thess. 3:10) 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. 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. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and beneficiary. By means of his labor man participates in the work of creation. Work united to Christ can be redemptive." (See, CCC # 2247 et.seq)

A Catholic understanding of human work views it through the lens of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. God Incarnate, Jesus the Christ, was a worker! The dignity of this God become Man elevates thereby elevates the basic goodness of all human work.

The early Church Father Gregory Nazianzus expressed the implications of the Incarnation best when he insisted that "Whatever was not assumed was not healed!" Because the entire human experience was assumed by Jesus, work has been transformed by Christ the worker!

As a child, Jesus learned from Joseph the Worker how to work with wood. He would later climb upon a wooden cross in order to re-create all humanity in the culmination of His great work of redemption. All of the work undertaken by Jesus was joined to His Heavenly Father's work. That is the same relationship we have with the Father now through Him, with Him and in Him.

Though there is some biblical support that the toil and drudgery or "sweat" of work is connected to the fracture in the order of the universe occasioned by sin (see Gen 3:19), human work itself is not the punishment for sin.Work occurred before the Fall, in that Garden where our first parents lived in communion with God, one another and all creation.

Rather, for the Christian, all human work can become a participation in the continuing redemptive work of Jesus, when embraced with living faith and joined to His work. Jesus was always doing the work of the One who sent Him (John 9:3-4) and we are invited to now do the same in the work which is a part of our daily human existence.

The early Christians' worship became known as liturgy. The Greek word can be loosely translated work or duty. Liturgy is the work of the Church. For the early believers, the world was not a place to be avoided but became their workshop!

They were in the world in order to bring all men and women to the Font of Baptism and include them in the Body of Christ, the Church - where they participated in preparing the world for His return. The work of Jesus continues through His Body, the Church, now placed in creation as a seed of its transfiguration.

The Paschal mystery, the saving life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, began a process of transformation not only in the followers of Jesus but also in the cosmos created through Him and for Him. It is being recreated in Him.

All things were created in Jesus Christ (see Col 1:15-20) and are being re-created as His work continues through His Body, the Church of which we are members. The unfolding of all of this is a what St. Paul calls a plan and a mystery, to bring all things together under heaven and on earth in Him (e.g. Eph 1: 9-10).

For the Christian work is an invitation to participate in that plan or mystery. No matter what we are doing as work, we are admonished to "do it as unto the Lord" (see Col 3). That choice, that exercise of our human freedom, enables our work to change the world both within us and around us.

This way of viewing work includes all human work, not just what is sometimes viewed as the "spiritual stuff." God Incarnate, Jesus Christ, did not just do what is often called the "spiritual stuff." All human work sanctifies us - and changes the world around us.

St. Paul captures the hope of the fullness of redemption including all creation when, in the eighth chapter of his letter to the Romans he reminds us that all of creation "groans" for the full revelation of the sons and daughters of God.
 
We can have a new relationship to the entire created order beginning now by choosing to live by faith. We live in the Son, through whom and for whom, all was created and is being re-created. When we embrace our daily work with a mind renewed by the Holy Spirit, we begin to comprehend the plan and purpose of God.

That includes developing a Catholic view of work.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Rick Santorum Announces His Candidacy saying - It is Time to Take Back America Watch

Image of Rick and Karen Santorum

By Keith A Fournier

There is something which many in the main stream U.S. media do not know, here it is - not many people are listening to them anymore. However, they will listen to this song. And, they will understand it. The sentiment it captures will encourage the heart of a ... continue reading


Treasure hunters claim to uncover $2 million of missing Confederate gold in Lake Michigan shipwreck Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Treasure hunters claim they discovered $2 million worth of gold, originally stolen from the Confederates after the Civil War, in a Lake Michigan Shipwreck. The hunters, Kevin Dykstra and Frederick J. Monroe said they discovered a 19th Century tug boat off of Frankfort, ... continue reading


Woman finally meets man with her dead brother's transplanted face Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Transplant recipients do not normally meet the families of their donors. An exception was made in the case of Rebekah Aversano, who met the man with the transplanted face of her deceased brother for a strange, touching homecoming. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


President Obama meets with ISIS executed journalist Steven Sotloff's family during Florida trip Watch

Image of Steven Sotloff had reported from across the Middle East and covered events in Libya for Time Magazine.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

United States President, Barack Obama met with the family of slain American journalist Steven Sotloff during his trip to Miami. Islamic State militants beheaded Sotloff last year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Obama met with Sotloff's parents, Art and ... continue reading


Michael Jackson's 'Neverland Ranch' up for sale for $100 million Watch

Image of Real-estate investment firm Colony Capital bought the note in 2008 for $23 million and put the title into a joint venture it formed with the pop star.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Late pop music superstar, Michael Jackson's famous retreat, Neverland Ranch is now up for grabs at $100 million. The former fantasyland currently lives under the name "Sycamore Valley Ranch." Located 40 miles from Santa Barbara in Los Olivos, the property spans ... continue reading


ANTHRAX IS BACK: U.S. Military accidentally ships live anthrax Watch

Image of Anthrax contaminants taken from building in Trenton, NJ in 2001. (Times staff photo by Jane Therese)

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Some samples negligently sent by the U.S. Military contained live anthrax. Four lab workers from the United States and about 22 overseas, who come in contact with the shipment, are placed into post-exposure treatment, according to a defense official. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Baltimore bloodshed continues with unbelievable violence over the holiday weekend Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

May has proved to be the most dangerous and deadliest month Baltimore has witnessed in more than 50 years. There were more than two dozen shootings over the Memorial Day weekend alone; city police have never been busier. Community leaders hope the members will come ... continue reading


BACKWASH: California water officials consider repurposing sewage into drinking water Watch

Image of Unlike non-potable reuse, where treated sewage is used to irrigate crops, parks or golf courses - direct potable reuse takes treated sewage effluent and purifies it so it can be used as drinking water.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it's "doable," few people in California are actually voicing any enthusiasm. Stricken by a crippling drought, water officials are going through some highly popular alternatives - and repurposing sewage water into drinking water is one of them. LOS ... continue reading


Gallup poll shows that one in four Americans not gay Watch

Image of Only 3.8 percent of Americans self-identify as gay, lesbian or transsexual.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Gay rights movements continue to disrupt society and political life, poll reveals that gay and lesbians are not as common in the United States as previously perceived. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new Gallup poll conducted in early May has revealed that ... continue reading


World's oldest woman reaches 116-years-old! Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

World's oldest woman, Jeralean Talley has added another year to her life - the world declared she turned 116 last weekend. Talley and her family, friends, the Inkster mayor and Congressman Conyers, delivered a message from President Barack Obama, celebrating her ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 51:12-20
12 And therefore I shall thank you and praise you, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 11
8 The precepts of Yahweh are honest, joy for the ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:27-33
27 They came to Jerusalem again, and as Jesus was ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 30th, 2015 Image

St. Joan of Arc
May 30: St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter