CCUSA Easter Season Reflection

St. Joseph the Worker – May 1, 2020

While today’s feast is an optional memorial in our liturgical cycle, there has never been a time when it has been more appropriate to both reflect on the value of work, and call upon the intercession of Good St. Joseph for workers and the growing numbers of unemployed workers during this Covid-19 pandemic.

In our Catholic Social Teaching, work is more than a job; but a value where one not only fulfills their own God-given talents and potential, but puts them in service of the whole human family, participating in God’s own ongoing creative and saving work in the world.

This saving work has been so apparent today in the many healthcare workers, emergency responders, research scientists, social workers, and those behind the scenes custodians and janitors who put their own health and lives on the line during this pandemic. We have all come to appreciate these incredible people we might otherwise easily take for granted. I have several such workers in my extended family. And when I have taken the time to express my genuine appreciation, they have all responded with these words: It is a privilege to serve. What a sense of the true meaning of work!

There are others who work in manufacturing perhaps once producing cars whose work has now been repurposed to make needed medical equipment. These folks too express that same sentiment. They have gratitude not so much for having a paying job, but being able to put their skills in the service of the many in our human family affected by the Covid-19 virus. Their work has a truly sacred purpose!

And let us today not forget the many who have lost jobs; which is not only the loss of a sense of purpose, but of needed family income. I know many of our Catholic Charities’ agencies, like my own, are trying to support these individuals and families in any way we can. I am personally grateful for the funding CCUSA has provided us to help do this. We have used these funds to especially assist many of our undocumented Latino sisters and brothers who have lost their work, and do not have the luxury of applying for unemployment nor be eligible to receive stimulus checks!

Here at Catholic Charities Louisville, our many skilled social workers on staff continue to provide support to clients in so many ways from food assistance to virtual case management. They too are all inspiring examples of the true meaning of work.

Good Saint Joseph, pray for us and all workers who are affected by the scourge of this Covid-19 virus. Amen!