Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me. Colossians 1:28-29
Then Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" Looking around at them all, he then said to him, "Stretch out your hand." He did so and his hand was restored. Luke 6:9-10
St. Joseph, by the work of your hands and the sweat of your brow, you supported Jesus and Mary, and had the Son of God as your fellow worker.
Teach me to work as you did, with patience and perseverance, for God and for those whom God has given me to support.
Teach me to see in my fellow workers the Christ who desires to be in them, that I may always be charitable and forbearing towards all.
Grant me to look upon work with the eyes of faith, so that I shall recognize in it my share in God’s own creative activity and in Christ’s work of our redemption, and so take pride in it.
When it is pleasant and productive, remind me to give thanks to God for it. And when it is burdensome, teach me to offer it to God, in reparation for my sins and the sins of the world. Amen.
(Note: This prayer was taken from the booklet “Devotions to Saint Joseph” by Brian Moore, S.J., printed and published by the Society of St. Paul and is quoted from the St. Joseph Shrine website http://www.stjosephshrine.org/about-the-shrine/prayers-to-saint-joseph.)
Jesus had the power and authority to heal the hand of the man in the temple any and every day of the week. He could have done it the day before the Sabbath. He could have done the healing the day after the Sabbath. Instead, he performed the miracle on the Sabbath, incurring the wrath of the scribes and the Pharisees.
Jesus knew they were watching him closely. He knew their intention and stood in front of the crowd to heal the man’s withered hand in order to further emphasize that the “son of man is Lord of the Sabbath” not the other way around.
Jesus was not afraid of what would happen to him as he carried out his mission. The important step was carrying out his mission. That was also the mission passed on to St. Paul who labored and struggled to bring everyone into friendship with Christ.
On this Labor Day, what are you doing to allow Jesus to work through you? What are you doing to present everyone as perfect to Jesus?
Are you ready to accept the invitation that Jesus extends to all sinners? "Come up and stand before us." Jesus came up and stood before Herod and Pilate and the mod of the Jewish people who accused him on his way to his execution.
Are you ready to accept the invitation that Jesus extends to all Christians? "Stretch out your hand." Jesus stretched out his hands for us on the cross. Now he asks us to stretch out our hands to each other in love.