International Workers Day ‘12
Today is also May Day, and the Solemnity of St. Joseph the Worker. Mayday is a cry of distress and Catholics, if not Christians everywhere, should declare an official panic. It is the day that my ancestors danced around a May Pole and today sexual liberalism is everywhere. While I can’t agree with the socialist’s agendas against Monotheism and right to life; I can’t agree with the Conservative’s against the progress of the labour movement either. This doesn’t leave me many friends. But in Morning Prayer this morning, the Canticle from Daniel 3 verses reads “For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,/brought low everywhere in the world this day/because of our sins.//We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,/no holocaust, sacrifice, oblation or incense,/no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.//But with contrite heart and humble spirit/let us be received;/as though it were holocausts of rams and bullocks,/or of thousands of fat lambs,/so let our sacrifice be in your presence today/as we follow you unreservedly;/for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.”
St. Joseph is the patron saint of St. Joseph’s, here in Belleville, where I often go during the week, when I can’t get to St. Michael’s church. He is the patron saint of Canada and worker’s hence: here it is a Solemnity Feast Day, now. While the first of May originally celebrated Communists victories; triumph’s which entailed persecutions of Christians, Jews and other martyrs, it has been embraced by the New Left and Catholics as a day of solidarity with marginalized, slaves and unions. It is obvious that any form of killing for a cause is wrong but I do not feel reactionary reductions of benefits for the poor and unemployed is anything more than claiming rights for earnings I’ve worked for having without embracing my responsibility to the human family. God blesses us with what we have in North America and He can take it away.
Another right which is being abused is the right to choice. Who can deny that we should have free will to choose abortion or euthanasia as opposed to the right to life. But doesn’t this take away the right of the unborn to live? Or take away the right of a person to live as long as they can? The Catholic Church doesn’t take away freedom of choice, but defends life, and always has. Evangelicals have got on the band wagon also and are agreeing to this right to life as well. I think the error in our society comes before a state of emergency that seems to threaten family and personal freedom when we still feel we can enjoy the rites of Spring in gaily and liberally free sex. When we value the quality of life so dearly that we want to end it before a natural lifespan we aren’t embracing the responsibility that comes from having rights either.
St. Joseph is remembered for his strong family values. Whether he was a widower and had a family, the cousins, which would be a better word to be used as a translation than brothers, of Jesus, or Joseph remained a virgin all his life; all look up to him as keeping Mary a virgin, and being the stepfather of our Lord. Maybe Mary taught Jesus to read and write or maybe it was Joseph: who probably took Him to the synagogue a lot, and instructed Him in the traditions that came down from his ancestor King David. Certainly his chastity is something that should inspire fathers today to be there for their unborn, their children, and the mothers of them. And it should inspire people to wait for marriage before sex. He should inspire people to accept humble work, if they can get it, and pray they are ready willing and able. And he should inspire people to be good stewards of whatever God gives them, and take care or look after families. Saint Joseph, the Worker, pray for me.