“Being inspired by the life of St Joseph, the Worker and fulfilling all the duties entrusted to us, with sense of immense trust and faith in the Lord!”
(Based on Gen 1:26-2:3 and Mt 13:54-58)
A young salesman became discouraged because he had been rejected by many of the customers that he approached.
He asked a more experienced salesman for some advice.
“Why is it that every time I make a call on someone I get rejected?”
“I just don’t understand that,” answered the older salesman…
… “I’ve been hit on the head, called dirty names, and thrown out the door, but I’ve never been rejected!
Remember, my son… Rejection isn’t what happens to us…
… but how we interpret what happens to us!”
How do we interpret the various situations of disappointments that we come across in life?
Do we get depressed and discouraged…
… or can we still be hopeful and know that “every rejection is one more step closer to true success!?”
Rejection and pain, are sure companions in the life of a Christian, who is uncompromising and unwavering in one’s faith.
Despite these aspects, are we ready to do the Will of God, and be His Faithful Followers?
Our Blessed Lord Himself underwent rejection and pain in life.
Yet He remained firm to do the Will of God!
One of the allegations made against Jesus was that He was only a Son of an ordinary worker…
… a carpenter, St Joseph
“Is not this the carpenter’s son?” (Mt 13:55)
Today on 1st of May, as we commemorate St Joseph the Worker, the Church invites us to understand the great dignity of work and labour. This is beautifully presented to us in the Liturgy of the Day:
The First Reading presents the story of creation, with God fashioning the entire Universe and “working” (using a human terminology) to create a beautiful world! (Gen 1:26-2:3)
The Gospel presents Jesus, as a Son of a worker, St Joseph – the carpenter!
We live in a world where dignity of labour is often in question
We find ourselves often in situations wherein rights, dignity and even the very self-respect of those who work, are often trampled upon.
In such a context, the Liturgy of this Feast of St Joseph the Worker comes as a mighty reminder to understand that…
… human work is a participation in the creative work of God.
By work, humankind fulfills the command of God to “to care for the earth” (Cf. Gen 2:15)
Jesus, in the Gospel, is associated with being part of the “family of workers”
By His Incarnation, Jesus took upon Himself, to be in solidarity with every aspect of human life…
… including rejection and pain.
The Gospel of the Day narrates this painful incident of “rejection and pain” that our Blessed Lord encountered in His life, at the hands of His own country people (Mt 13: 54-58)
It is interesting to note, how the people of the hometown seek to justify their rejection of Jesus, by rationalizing their attitude…
Using 6 questions (6= A Biblical symbolic number which often stands for imperfection!)…
… the people of the hometown, reveal their blocked minds and closed hearts.
When one’s heart is rooted in unbelief and is closed to the truth…
… things of the Divine appear to be hostile!
And so the Lord would declare: “A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country or his own house!” (Mt 13: 57)
Thus, Jesus becomes the “Sign of Contradiction!”
… the Prince of Peace, begins to be seen as a cause of division and despise
… the Healer of Souls, begins to be seen as a cause of disagreement and discord!
… the Comforter of Hearts, begins to be seen as a cause of disturbance and distress
Anyone who seeks to follow Jesus – the “Sign of Contradiction” – the Epitome of Truth and Honesty…
… is sure to face the same experience!
Every true Christian, because of one’s convictions in the Eternal Values of Uncompromising Truth and Desire to do the Will of God, is sure to face…
… rejection from the people, because one’s ways challenge the lethargic lifestyle of others!
… pain from the society, because one’s way of living poses a threat the corruption around!
But despite this “rejection and pain”, can we still continue to hold on the Lord, the “Sign of Contradiction?”
Life often hurls the “bricks of rejection” at us…
We can either be hurt by them…
… or be strengthened and buckle ourselves up with greater courage
We can either blame all those situations and curse life…
… or we can be thankful for those moments, which provides us a chance for “more blessings!”
Yes, we need to remember always: Rejection isn’t what happens to us…
… but how we interpret what happens to us!”
Let us not get depressed and discouraged by the various situations of disappointments that we come across in life…
… instead let us be hopeful, and know that “every rejection is one more step closer to true success!”
Today as the Church commemorates St Joseph, the Worker, we are invited to look up to this quiet yet great Saint, who was able to fulfil the duties entrusted to him…
… with a sense of immense trust and faith in the Lord.
As St. Alphonsus Liguori says, “We should, indeed, honour St. Joseph, since the Son of God Himself was graciously pleased to honour him by calling him father.
If the King of kings was pleased to raise Joseph to so high a dignity, it is right and obligatory on our part to endeavour to honour him as much as we can!”
On this First Friday of the Month, as we offer ourselves to the Sacred Heart of the Lord, let us also seek the intercession of St Joseph, who was able to fulfill the duties entrusted to him, with a sense of immense trust and faith in the Lord…
… in order to seek for the higher and heavenly longings of life!
Happy Feast of St Joseph, the Just Worker in God’s Plan of Redemption.
Glorious Blessings of Jesus, his Precious Child – the Way, the Truth and the Life
Heavenly Intercessions of Mary – his loving Spouse and our affectionately protecting Mother
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “In the trouble and distress which afflicts us, we confidently have recourse to thee, St Joseph.
Deign to take under your charitable charge this important and difficult matter, cause of our worries.
Make its happy outcome be for God’s Glory…