Thursday, 1 May 2008

St Joseph the Worker

While the universal calendar of the Church today declares the Ascension of the Lord (40 days on from Easter Sunday), some countries have chosen to transfer the feast to the nearest Sunday. In England and Wales this decision was taken a couple of years ago, and now the Ascension will be celebrated in a few days time. The Bishops' Conference took the decision so that more people could celebrate the feast fittingly, though the change has by no means proved universally popular. Whatever the rights or wrongs of it, it does at least give us the opportunity today to celebrate the feast of St Joseph the Worker, which is kept each year on 1st May. After Mass at the Cathedral today a handful of people went to say some prayers at his statue here, and some lit candles.

The Cathedral's statue of St Joseph points to his work as a carpenter, as he carries his tools in a small basket. The feast of St Joseph the Worker reminds us of the importance of human work and how, if we use our abilities correctly, we can further God's plan by our actions. It also reminds us of how Our Lord grew up in a working family, and so came to share the day-to-day toil of human life.