Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/1/2013 (3 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 (3 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'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More U.S.

Edward Nero, arresting officer of Freddie Gray, NOT GUILTY. Will Baltimore erupt once more? Watch

Image of Officer Edward Nero arrives at court. Nero has been acquitted of crimes in the death of Freddie Gray.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The arresting officer in the Freddie Gray case, Edward Nero, has been declared "not guilty" by the judge in his criminal trial. Now, the community waits to see if violence will erupt or if the streets will remain quiet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Officer ... continue reading


Tell Me About the Trinity: Honoring Jerry and Plumbing the Mystery of God Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

'The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Father Daniel Berrigan's Pro-Life Activism Watch

Image of Fr. Daniel Berrigan

By Fr Frank Pavone

Father Berrigan was a radical figure who sent a total of almost seven years in prison.  What many don't realize though is that his activism extended beyond the anti-war movement and into the anti-abortion movement. Believing in what he called a consistent ... continue reading


Law allows persons to sue if you don't use the correct pronoun out of 58 to describe a person's sexual identity Watch

Image of We're going to need a lot more restrooms.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Under a new law, businesses in New York will be fined if they don't use a person's preferred pronoun when referring to them. This especially becomes a problem when it is understood there are at least 58 possible pronouns with at least five grammatical variations ... continue reading


Science fiction? Feds discover the 'Grocery List,' post tweets to promote new technology Watch

Image of After millions of dollars in federal spending, government scientists have discovered the grocery list technology. Where would we be without such courageous efforts?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Federal Government has discovered the grocery list technology. This unlock apparently occurred recently as the Department of Agriculture sent encouraging, rapid-fire tweets to the public about how to use this remarkable new advancement. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Texas to build own version of Ft. Knox, is secession next? Watch

Image of Texas is bringing home its gold.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Texas is taking another step to becoming an independent Republic by recalling its gold and other precious metals home. A private company is planning to construct a bullion depository south of Houston, creating a virtual Ft. Knox for the state. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


We Need a New Pentecost and Whatever Happened to those Charismatic Catholics? Watch

Image of The fire of Pentecost

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I am one of countless thousands upon thousands whose life was profoundly changed by an experience, an encounter, with the Holy Spirit decades ago. I am old enough to remember when we who had this encounter were sometimes  called Pentecostal Catholics. That ... continue reading


The Obama Department of (In) Justice Takes on North Carolina, Civil Rights, and Sexual Difference Watch

Image of Federal Attorney General Loretta Lynch and North Carolina Governor McCrory

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If you rely on the main stream media for your news reports, you will not hear the truth of what is really happening in North Carolina. Much of the media uses Orwellian newspeak in its reports and has degenerated into a propaganda wing of the current ... continue reading


Will Texas leave the United States? Watch

Image of Texas plans to secede from the United States (texas.gov).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Texas has been thinking about seceding from the United States for quite a while. Now, after a Wednesday meeting of the Platform Committee of the Texas Republican Party, a Texas independence resolution will be up for vote during this week's GOP convention. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Alleged foul mouthed priest terrorizes Catholic school Watch

Image of Fr. Michael P. Reilly has been accused of being a foul mouthed priest.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Rev. Michael P. Reilly, a Catholic priest assigned to St. Joseph by the Sea High School in New York is in a lot of trouble this morning for his language. A suit filed in a Manhattan Supreme Court, alleges the priest made rude comments, swore constantly, and verbally ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 1:10-16
10 This salvation was the subject of the search and investigation of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:28-31
28 Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we have left everything ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 24th, 2016 Image

St. David I of Scotland
May 24: David, the youngest son of Scotland's virtuous ... Read More