Universalis
Wednesday 1 May 2024    (other days)
Wednesday of the 5th week of Eastertide 
 or Saint Joseph the Worker 

Using calendar: Australia. You can pick a diocese or region.

The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Year: B(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: White.

St Joseph the Worker

The feast of Saint Joseph the Worker is not a mere Catholic copying of the Communist First of May – any more than Christmas is a mere copy of the pagan feast of Saturnalia. The dates are taken over, for obvious reasons; but the content is radically different.
  The Christian view of work is the opposite of the materialist view. A worker such as St Joseph is not a mere lump of labour – “1.00 human work units.” He is a person. He is created in God’s own image, and just as creation is an activity of God, so creation is an activity of the worker. The work we do echoes the glorious work that God has done. It may not be wasted; or abused; or improperly paid; or directed to wrong or pointless ends. To do any of these things is not oppression, it is sacrilege. The glory of the present economic system is when it gives so many, of whatever class, the chance to build and create something worthwhile, whether from their own resources, or in collaboration with others, or by attracting investment from others. But its shame is when that does not happen: when people are coerced, by greed or by poverty, into being “lumps of labour.” Whether the labour is arduous or not makes no difference; whether it is richly paid or not makes no difference.
  Because she must combat the anti-humanist Communist heresy the Church is sometimes thought to be on the side of capital. Reading the successive Papal encyclicals on labour and society, from Rerum Novarum (1891) onwards, will soon dispel that illusion. The enemies of the Church have no reason to read them; all too often we feel too comfortable in our present economic state and refrain from reading them also.
  See the Wikipedia article on Catholic social teaching.

About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:

Second Reading: The Letter to Diognetus

A 13th-century manuscript of the Letter from the Disciple to Diognetus was discovered in Constantinople in 1436, where it was being used as wrapping-paper in a fishmonger’s shop. It found its way to the abbey of Munster, and the first edition of it was published in 1592. The suppression of religious communities by the French Revolution in 1793 led to it being deposited in the municipal library at Strasbourg, where it was destroyed in 1870 by a fire started by German artillery. Two copies of the manuscript survive which were made in the 16th century.
  The Letter to Diognetus is a Christian apologetic work dating from the 2nd century, probably from late in that century. It was initially attributed to Justin Martyr but is now agreed to be by an unknown author. Whoever it was by, the letter seems to have passed out of general knowledge very early, since none of the standard authorities such as Eusebius mention it. The identity of the recipient is equally unknown. It is valuable as showing the nature of Christian belief in those very early days, and it is different from other Christian apologies in that it seems not to be a spontaneous work of explanation or justification, but a detailed response to a detailed series of questions.

Liturgical colour: white

White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
  In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)(Romans 4:24-25)
We believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, Jesus who was put to death for our sins and raised to life to justify us.

Noon reading (Sext)1 John 5:5-6
Who can overcome the world? Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus Christ came by water and blood: not with water only, but with water and blood.

Afternoon reading (None)(Ephesians 4:23-24)
Let your spirits be renewed so that you can put on the new self that has been created in God’s way, in the goodness and holiness of the truth.

Local calendars

General Calendar

Australia

 - Adelaide

 - Armidale

 - Ballarat

 - Bathurst

 - Brisbane

 - Broken Bay

 - Broome

 - Bunbury

 - Cairns

 - Canberra-Goulburn

 - Darwin

 - Geraldton

 - Hobart

 - Lismore

 - Maitland-Newcastle

 - Melbourne

 - Military Ordinariate

 - Ordinariate

 - Parramatta

 - Perth

 - Port Pirie

 - Rockhampton

 - Sale

 - Sandhurst

 - Sydney

 - Toowoomba

 - Townsville

 - Wagga Wagga

 - Wilcannia-Forbes

 - Wollongong


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