St . Joseph, the Worker, May 1 - Liturgy

Patron of the Church     

Today’s gospel calls Joseph “a just man.” It is a title that the scriptures of the Old and the New Testaments give to people who try to live according to God’s plans. Indeed, he played an important role in God’s plan of salvation; God entrusted our Savior, Jesus, to his care. He experienced that his important role brought him many difficulties, but he stood the test and served God well, as a man of faith, generous, and indeed “just.”     

 Brother Andre and Brothers of Holy Cross have done a yeoman service in bringing St Joseph out of the closet. 
-for the simplicity of his life beyond our complexities, LHM
-for the silence of his listening, beyond our endless prattles, CHM
-for the total surrender of his faith beyond our resistance to God's grace, LHM

Opening Prayer     
God our Father, you entrusted your Son Jesus to the dedicated care of St. Joseph. Give us the faith of this just man, the patron of your Church, that we may always listen to you, and serve you in everything you ask of us also when we do not understand   where you are leading us. Make us live close to your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.     

The uprightness of Joseph consisted in doing the right thing without humiliating anyone else in the process. Thus when he heard of Mary being pregnant before they could live together, he decided to do the right thing—to divorce Mary, but secretly so that her name would not be discredited. And when God revealed to him the truth of her pregnancy, Joseph did not think twice to change his decision and wholeheartedly collaborate with God’s plan. Authentic righteousness of a true man of God! Though Jesus did not carry the biological genes of Joseph, he would have learned a lot from watching Joseph as to how to respect the dignity of persons even when they are sinners and how to conform to God’s will with one’s total being. He was indeed the most worthy husband to Mary, the Mother of God, and the most worthy foster father to Jesus, the Son of God.      The evangelist Matthew relates the annunciation to Joseph, as Luke related that of Mary's. The bitter surprise of the legal father of Jesus was set-aside at the news that the angel gives about his wife Mary. Since then, this simple and just man will have to perform a delicate task that begins with the imposition of the name of Jesus (God saves) to the son of Mary. His silence and fidelity to the mission is an example that we should also follow. Jesus will be proud of this father and will not ashamed to be called the "carpenter's son".     

As we celebrate St. Joseph today, let us bring our intentions before the Lord.  
– Lord, we pray you for your Church. Let it honor St Joseph, its patron, through a responsible and dedicated leadership, we pray:   
– Lord, we pray you for those in public office, that they may lead their people with wisdom and justice, we pray:  
– Lord, we pray you for heads of families, including single parents, that they may be dedicated to their children, we pray:  
– Lord, we pray you for laborers who live by the work of their hands; may they do their work conscientiously and take pride in it, we pray:  
– Lord, we pray you for ourselves. May we be people who know how to serve and to live in our presence, we pray:   Lord, may the help of St Joseph help us all to serve you with love. We ask this through Christ our Lord.     

Prayer over the Gifts     
Lord, we bring before you bread and wine.   Let these gifts express   that we want to carry out   the task you entrust to us in life.   Dispose us to cooperate wholeheartedly with your plans   to bring your love and freedom   to this entire world, that it may accept and serve   Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Prayer after Communion     
God our Father, you have given us the food   that brings us the strength and the perseverance   to do the work you entrust to us.   Like St Joseph, may we serve you well   and put all our trust in you.   Make us responsible and just persons   who reflect your goodness and love.   Grant this through Christ our Lord.     

May the Lord make us his good and faithful servants, trustworthy and just. Let his blessing come down on us and accompany us on the road of life: the blessing of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
 Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labour, obtain for us the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above our many concerns; to work with thankfulness and joy, considering it an honour to employ and develop, by means of labour, the gifts received from God; to work with order, peace, prudence and patience, never surrendering to weariness or difficulties; to work, above all, with purity of intention, and with detachment from self, having always death before our eyes and the account which we must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all after your example, O Patriarch Joseph. Such shall be our motto in life and death.  Amen.