Day 8 - Novena for Workers, the Unemployed and Underemployed
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Day 8 Novena Reflection
In 1981 John Paul released a letter entitled "On Human Work". In the introductory paragraph, he wrote:
"(W)ork means any activity by man, whether manual or intellectual... Man is made to be in the visible universe an image and likeness of God himself, and he is placed in it, in order to subdue the earth. From the beginning, therefore he is called to work. Work is one of the characteristics that distinguish man from the rest of creatures, whose activity for sustaining their lives cannot be called work. Only man is capable of work, and only man works, at the same time by work occupying his existence on earth. Thus, work bears a particular mark, of man and of humanity, the mark of a person operating within a community of persons. And this mark decides its interior characteristics; in a sense, it constitutes its very nature."
Novena Prayer Seeking the Intercession of St Joseph the Worker
Beloved Father, through the life, death and resurrection of your only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ, we have become your adopted sons and daughters. Through Baptism we are now members of His Body, the Church. Our Savior Jesus taught us that "whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother."
We thank you that promise includes each one of us.
As members of the family of Jesus we turn to you in prayer. In Jesus, we are joined in a communion of love which is stronger than death, along with the saints, the holy ones. They are the great cloud of witnesses the bible speaks of. They have gone before us marked with the sign of redemption and lived their lives by faith. (Hebrews 12:1)
They inspire us by their holy lives. They also pray for us from their place in your communion of love.
In a special place of honor in that communion is St. Joseph. He said YES to your call to be the chaste husband of Mary, the Mother of the Lord; the foster father of Jesus and the Guardian of the Redeemer. A man of few words, Joseph spoke with action and calls us to the way of active faith. The Patron of all workers also shows us the dignity of all human work when joined to Jesus.
Joseph always said YES to your invitations of grace. He always put Mary and Jesus ahead of himself. He invites us to do the same in our daily lives. The carpenter who taught the child Jesus to work with wood in the workshop of Nazareth shows us that all human work participates in the loving plan of redemption. At 33 years old, Jesus, the carpenter's son (Matthew 13:55), freely embraced the wood of the Cross and reconciled us to you, and to one another, for the sake of the world.
Joseph loved Jesus and Jesus loved Joseph. That love continues.
St. Joseph, you who loved Jesus with a genuine fatherly love, we ask you to pray for us as we follow the Way of Jesus in our everyday lives. You understand the challenges of raising a family, earning a living, facing the difficulties of life, and always remaining faithful to God.
We now turn to you and ask for your intercession. By your prayers, obtain for us the special graces we need to be faithful to our own specific vocation and live our lives in service to Jesus as you did.
St. Joseph, today I specifically ask you:
Glory be the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, AMEN
St. Joseph the Worker, Pray for Us
May the Blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit come upon you and remain with you forever
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