Redeeming meaning of work

The strangeness of the neighbors of Nazareth -is this not the craftsman...? - is for us a luminous teaching: it reveals to us that the greater part of the Redeemer's life was a life of work, like that of other men. And this work, carried out day by day, was an instrument of redemption, like all the actions of Christ. Being a simple human task (that of a carpenter who had to do many other tasks in a small town), it becomes an action of infinite and redemptive value because it was carried out by the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity made man.

The Christian, being another Christ through Baptism, has to convert his upright human chores into a task of co-redeeming. Our work, united to that of Jesus, although according to the judgment of men it is small and seems of little importance, acquires an immeasurable value.

The same weariness that all work carries with it, a consequence of original sin, acquires a new meaning. What appeared as punishment is redeemed by Christ and becomes a mortification most pleasing to God, which serves to purify our own sins and to co-redeem with the Lord the whole of humanity. Herein lies the profound difference between the work humanly well done by a pagan and that of a Christian, which, besides being well done, is offered in union with Christ.

The union with the Lord, sought in daily work, will strengthen in us the purpose of doing everything only for the glory of God and the good of souls. Our prestige, nobly increased, will attract to our side the best colleagues and the help of Heaven will be abundant to push many others along the path of an intense Christian life. In this way, sanctification of work and apostolic zeal in our professional work will go hand in hand in our lives, a clear sign that we are truly working with right intention.

St. Joseph taught Jesus his trade. He did it little by little, as the Child whom God himself had entrusted to him grew. One day he explained to him how to use the talon; another day, the saw, the gouge, the chisel.... Jesus soon learned to distinguish the different types of wood and which should be used in each case; he learned how to make the glue to assemble the joints, how to fit a wedge to adjust two pieces.... Jesus followed Joseph's instructions on how to take care of the tools, he learned from him how to collect the shavings after the day's work, how to leave the tools tidily in their place?

Let us go to St. Joseph today to ask him to teach us to work well and to love our work. Joseph is an exceptional teacher of work well done, for he taught his trade to the Son of God; we will learn from him, if we have recourse to his patronage while we work. And if we love our chores, we will perform them well, with professional competence, and then we will be able to turn them into a redemptive task, offering them to God.

Hablar con Dios