One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

May 01, 2010

For the Memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker

Colossians 3:14-15,17,23-24
Matthew 13:54-58

“Is he not the carpenter’s son?”
The carpenter St. Joseph is of the house and lineage of King David from the town of Bethlehem where the Lord Jesus Christ also was born.
The first time God sent an angel to St. Joseph, the angel called Joseph, “Son of David.”
St. Joseph’s full Biblical name would have been “Joseph son of Jacob”— but the angel called him “son of David.”
God gave St. Joseph a royal mission.
St. Joseph was to serve as a father for Christ, to take a Biblical father’s role of lawfully naming the boy, and thus give the boy membership in St. Joseph’s own royal family tree.
By the law of God’s people, the Son of God on earth bore the name “Jesus” and belonged to the royal house and lineage of David because St. Joseph, serving as his father, publicly said so.
King David himself did not come from a royal house, but was king because God sent a man, a prophet, to say so.
Now the Lord Jesus belongs to the royal house because God had St. Joseph say so.
St. Joseph, the carpenter who lived and worked in Nazareth, gave to the Son of God a share in the title “Son of David.”
Everything we know about St. Joseph was wrapped up in the work of obedient service to the mission of the Son of God.
Today’s first reading calls us to the same obedient work that St. Joseph fulfilled.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus

be slaves of the Lord Christ

Obedient as a slave in the name and the mission of the Lord Jesus, St. Joseph worked as a carpenter for the Nazareth townsfolk, who turned out un-neighborly and small-hearted, as we see in the today’s Gospel.
In sundry ways, St. Joseph the worker foreshadowed the work of Christ.
St. Joseph is a carpenter whose ancestral home is Bethlehem, a name meaning “house of bread.”
Christ was born there to be the “Bread of Life from Heaven.”
As a child on earth, his life depended on bread earned by the work of St. Joseph.
As St. Joseph worked for the un-neighborly and small-hearted of Nazareth, so Christ serves the un-neighborly and small-hearted everywhere, including us.
We have the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation in the Body and Blood of Christ.
For his part, Christ in flesh and blood lived, grew, and flourished on earth because he had a breadwinner, fatherly love, and good example in the person and work of St. Joseph.
By the work of St. Joseph, Christ the King grew to manhood, and has now named us royal sons and daughters of the house of God.
While we yet work on earth, may the prayers of St. Joseph the Worker uphold us in the work of salvation!
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus

be slaves of the Lord Christ

That God Be Glorified in All


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