Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (13: 54-58) in which the reaction of the people from his hometown to his teaching in the synagogue, prompts Jesus to say “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home’. After the Gospel, Fr Paul shares a little about the life of St Joseph the Worker whose feast we celebrate today.

Fr Paul says 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. 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.

The Church is sometimes thought to be on the side of capitalism. However, reading the successive Papal encyclicals on labour and society, from Rerum Novarum (1891) onwards, will soon dispel that illusion.

Today, Fr Paul says today we ask ‘St Joseph, the Worker…Pray for us!’