St. Joseph is truly a model for us in how we can allow our work to sanctify us.  While May is traditionally known as the month in which we honor Our Blessed Mother, May 1st is the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.  The work of St. Joseph was to protect the Blessed Mother and Jesus, to provide for them, and to make possible their continued obedience to the Heavenly Father. The sanctification that took place in the hours he toiled, giving his very self for the wellbeing of Our Blessed Mother and Christ, provides insight on how our daily life can be a means in which we grow in greater conformity to Our Lord. In everything that St. Joseph did as a carpenter, as a husband, and as a foster-father for our Lord, he exuded humble cooperation with the plan of God.

There are really two dimensions of work: an objective dimension and what is more important, a subjective dimension.  The objective dimension is what is produced through our work, the results of our work.  These results are the fruit of our efforts and so objectively present. But there is also an often neglected and vitally important dimension of work: the subjective dimension.  The subjective dimension of work is where we find dignity and meaning personally by knowing that we are serving God and others through our work.  Even if we do not see the objective fruits of our work, the subjective dimension of work and its vital importance for our walk with the Lord must always be present. While the pursuit of excellence can yield much objective fruit, it must be done with the subjective intention to glorify God. We can imagine that for St. Joseph, no matter how much he produced through his work, he was overjoyed to be doing the least thing for God.

Sadly, we live in a world driven by efficiency, profit motives, and deadlines.  These things are not bad in their proper place, but they should not be elevated to the end of our work.  The end of our work should always be the glory of God, the glory of cooperating with the plan of our Maker and Redeemer.  We should do our work excellently with great love for the Lord.  Even if many consider it of little account, God sees the heart and will reward us for the ardor and depth of our love.  St. Joseph, please pray for us, that our work like yours, may glorify God.