May 1, 2013
Joseph the Worker
John 15: 1-8
”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine gro wer. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you.
Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
A Labor of Love
Today’s feast of Saint Joseph the Worker celebrates the dignity of human labor, and raises for me a standard that all I think, say, and do, will honor that all of us abide in the love and care of God as the vine grower.
Whether it is my own work, those who work with or for me, those for whom I work, or those whose work is far removed but benefits me each day, I recognize that the work and the worker is called to a higher standard – the good of all – as branches of Christ, the vine.
Imagine the absurdity of passing by a tree, a bush, a vine, or flower, and noticing that the branches, leaves, fruit, or blossoms are fighting with each other! Such a scene, even if only imagined, captures the absurdity in God’s eyes of the squabbles, conflicts, violence, hate, and disrespect amongst humanity.
Are we laboring against each other? Or, are we laboring for the dignity and growth of all? Our choice. Joseph labored as a carpenter, a father, a husband, a faithful Jew, and an early protector of God among us.
May I labor in the same selfless, loving, caring way as Joseph, as God calls me, so that God’s creation flourishes and grows in myself, my home, my workplace, my community, my nation, my world.
Make all that you do today a labor of love.
—Fr. Chris Manahan, S.J. is Associate Novice Director at the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Alberto Hurtado, St. Paul, MN. For more information on Jesuit vocations, click here.
Lord, if we abide in you, we will bear much fruit. Thank you for so many blessings. We know that even more blessings await us because we have united our life with your Spirit.
As we address the issues and tasks of our day, may we keep you at the center of our decisions, our behaviors, and our interactions. Should we experience frustration or obstacles, give us the grace to persevere in our effort to do our best and to do what is right.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!