Saturday, May 1, 2010


Novena to St. Joseph the Worker

O God, the Creator of all things, You have laid the law of labor upon the human race. Grant, we beseech You, that by the example and protection of St. Joseph we may perform the work You command and attain to the reward that You promise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.



Reading 1

Acts 13:44-52

On the following sabbath
almost the whole city
gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy
and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.
Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said,
“It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first,
but since you reject it
and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life,
we now turn to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth.”

The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord.
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region.
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers
and the leading men of the city,
stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory.
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them
and went to Iconium.
The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.


R. Alleluia.

Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.


R. Alleluia.

The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.


R. Alleluia.

All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.


R. Alleluia.

Jn 14:7-14

Jesus said to his disciples:

“If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said to Jesus,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him,

“Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”


May 1

St. Joseph the Worker

Apparently in response to the “May Day” celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists, Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955. But the relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers has a much longer history.

In a constantly necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, ultimately for the building up of the Body of Christ.


O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 66 (67)

The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

O God, take pity on us and bless us,
and let your face shine upon us,
so that your ways may be known across the world,
and all nations learn of your salvation.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and rejoice,
for you judge the peoples with fairness
and you guide the nations of the earth.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has produced its harvest:
may God, our God, bless us.
May God bless us,
may the whole world revere him.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.


O thou, the heavens’ eternal King,
Creator, unto thee we sing,
With God the Father ever One,
Coequal, coeternal Son.
Thy hand, when first the world began,
Made in thine own pure image man,
And yoked to fleshly form of earth
A living form of heavenly birth.
And when the envy of the foe
Had marred thy noblest work below,
Clothed in our flesh, thou didst restore
The image thou hadst made before.
Once wast thou born of Mary’s womb;
And now, newborn from out the tomb,
O Christ, thou bid’st us rise with thee
From death to immortality.
Redeemer, thou for us didst deign
To hang upon the Cross of pain,
And give us the lavish price
Of thine own Blood in sacrifice.
Grant, Lord, in thee each faithful mind
Unceasing Paschal joy may find;
And from the death of sin set free
Souls newly born to life by thee.
To thee, once dead, who now dost live,
All glory, Lord, thy people give,
Whom, with the Father, we adore,
And Holy Spirit forevermore.

The history of salvation: the Lord's goodness, his people's infidelity
Psalm 77 (78)

The Lord rescued Israel from the hand of the oppressor. Alleluia.

How often they rebelled in the wilderness!
How often they grieved him in the desert!
Again and again they put God to the test
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
They forgot his strength, they forgot the time
when he saved them from the oppressor’s power.
When he showed his signs in Egypt,
his wonders in the plain of Tanis,
he turned their rivers into blood
and the streams: there was nothing they could drink.
He sent biting flies to eat them up,
and frogs to bring devastation.
He gave their fruit to the caterpillar,
the fruit of their labours to the locust.
He killed their vines with hail,
he killed their sycamores with frost.
He gave their herds as victims to hail;
their flocks, to lightning.
He loosed upon them the heat of his anger:
rage, fury, and destruction;
he sent his destroying angels among them.
He cleared a path for his anger:
he did not spare them from death,
but cut off their lives in pestilence.
He struck down all the first-born in the land of Egypt,
the first-fruits of their strength in the tents of Ham.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

The Lord rescued Israel from the hand of the oppressor. Alleluia.
Psalm 77 (78)

He brought them to the mountain he had sanctified. Alleluia.

He led his people away like sheep,
like a flock through the wilderness.
They were led in hope, they did not fear –
and the sea covered up their enemies.
He brought them within the borders he had sanctified,
to the mountain that his right hand had conquered.
He drove out the nations before them
divided their land, to be an inheritance,
and made Israel dwell in their tents.
Still they tested and angered God, the Most High,
and would not keep his decrees.
They went back to their unfaithfulness,
like their fathers before them:
they twisted round, like a crooked bow.
They stirred him to anger by their worship in high places:
they provoked him to jealousy with their idols.
God heard, and burned with anger:
then truly he spurned Israel.
He abandoned his dwelling-place in Shiloh,
the tent where he had lived among men.
He gave up his power to captivity,
his glory to the hands of the enemy.
He gave up his people to the sword,
he burned hot against his own inheritance.
Fire burned up their youths,
and their maidens remained unwed.
Their priests fell to the sword,
and their widows died unmourned.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

He brought them to the mountain he had sanctified. Alleluia.
Psalm 77 (78)

He chose the tribe of Judah, and David his servant to graze Israel, his inheritance. Alleluia.

The Lord awoke as a sleeper awakes,
like a warrior fuddled with wine.
He attacked his foes from behind,
he put them to everlasting shame.
He rejected the tents of Joseph,
he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
but the tribe of Judah he chose,
and his beloved mountain of Zion.
He built his sanctuary as a high place,
firm as the earth he had founded for ever.
He chose David for his servant
and raised him up from his flocks.
He took him from following the pregnant ewes
to be the shepherd of Jacob, his people,
and of Israel, his inheritance.
He pastured them with a pure heart
and led them with skilful hands.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

He chose the tribe of Judah, and David his servant to graze Israel, his inheritance. Alleluia.
God has given us a new birth into living hope, alleluia,
– through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, alleluia.

Reading Apocalypse 18:1-20

After this, I saw another angel come down from heaven, with great authority given to him; the earth was lit up with his glory. At the top of his voice he shouted, ‘Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, and has become the haunt of devils and a lodging for every foul spirit and dirty, loathsome bird. All the nations have been intoxicated by the wine of her prostitution; every king in the earth has committed fornication with her, and every merchant grown rich through her debauchery.’

A new voice spoke from heaven; I heard it say, ‘Come out, my people, away from her, so that you do not share in her crimes and have the same plagues to bear. Her sins have reached up to heaven, and God has her crimes in mind: she is to be paid in her own coin. She must be paid double the amount she exacted. She is to have a doubly strong cup of her own mixture. Every one of her shows and orgies is to be matched by a torture or a grief. I am the queen on my throne, she says to herself, and I am no widow and shall never be in mourning. For that, within a single day, the plagues will fall on her: disease and mourning and famine. She will be burnt right up. The Lord God has condemned her, and he has great power.’

There will be mourning and weeping for her by the kings of the earth who have fornicated with her and lived with her in luxury. They see the smoke as she burns, while they keep at a safe distance from fear of her agony. They will say:

‘Mourn, mourn for this great city,
Babylon, so powerful a city,
doomed as you are within a single hour.’

There will be weeping and distress over her among all the traders of the earth when there is nobody left to buy their cargoes of goods; their stocks of gold and silver, jewels and pearls, linen and purple and silks and scarlet; all the sandalwood, every piece in ivory or fine wood, in bronze or iron or marble; the cinnamon and spices, the myrrh and ointment and incense; wine, oil, flour and corn; their stocks of cattle, sheep, horses and chariots, their slaves, their human cargo.

‘All the fruits you had set your hearts on have failed you; gone for ever, never to return, is your life of magnificence and ease.’

The traders who had made a fortune out of her will be standing at a safe distance from fear of her agony, mourning and weeping. They will be saying:

‘Mourn, mourn for this great city;
for all the linen and purple and scarlet that you wore,
for all your finery of gold and jewels and pearls;
your riches are all destroyed within a single hour.’

All the captains and seafaring men, sailors and all those who make a living from the sea will be keeping a safe distance, watching the smoke as she burns, and crying out, ‘Has there ever been a city as great as this!’ They will throw dust on their heads and say, with tears and groans:

‘Mourn, mourn for this great city
whose lavish living has made a fortune
for every owner of a sea-going ship;
ruined within a single hour.’
‘Now heaven, celebrate her downfall, and all you saints, apostles and prophets: God has given judgement for you against her.’


Come out of Babylon, keep yourselves pure, you who carry the vessels of the Lord, for the Lord will march at your head: your rearguard will be Israel’s God, alleluia.
Come out of her, O my people, and let every man save himself from the anger of the Lord: your rearguard will be Israel’s God, alleluia.

Reading From the commentary on the letter to the Romans by Saint Cyril of Alexandria, bishop
God's mercy has been extended to all; the whole world has been saved
Though many, we are one body, and members one of another, united by Christ in the bonds of love. Christ has made Jews and Gentiles one by breaking down the barrier that divided us and abolishing the law with its precepts and decrees. This is why we should all be of one mind and if one member suffers some misfortune, all should suffer with him; if one member is honoured, all should be glad.

Paul says: Accept one another as Christ accepted you, for the glory of God. Now accepting one another means being willing to share one another’s thoughts and feelings, bearing one another’s burdens, and preserving the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. This is how God accepted us in Christ, for John’s testimony is true and he said that God the Father loved the world so much that he gave his own Son for us. God’s Son was given as a ransom for the lives of us all. He has delivered us from death, redeemed us from death and from sin.

Paul throws light on the purpose of God’s plan when he says that Christ became the servant of the circumcised to show God’s fidelity. God had promised the Jewish patriarchs that he would bless their offspring and make it as numerous as the stars of heaven. This is why the divine Word himself, who as God holds all creation in being and is the source of its well-being, appeared in the flesh and became man. He came into this world in human flesh not to be served, but, as he himself said, to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Christ declared that his coming in visible form was to fulfil the promise made to Israel. I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he said. Paul was perfectly correct, then, in saying that Christ became a servant of the circumcised in order to fulfil the promise made to the patriarchs and that God the Father had charged him with this task, as also with the task of bringing salvation to the Gentiles, so that they too might praise their Saviour and Redeemer as the Creator of the universe. In this way God’s mercy has been extended to all men, including the Gentiles, and it can be seen that the mystery of the divine wisdom contained in Christ has not failed in its benevolent purpose. In the place of those who fell away the whole world has been saved.


We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life, we must turn to the pagans, alleluia.
For this is what the Lord commanded us to do when he said, ‘I have made you a light for the nations’ – we must turn to the pagans, alleluia.
Almighty and ever-living God, bring the Easter mysteries to fruition in us.
You have deigned to renew us in baptism:
make us bear abundant fruit under your protection,
and lead us into the joys of eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.