Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not
for men . . . Colossians 3:23
Today is the memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker, the husband of Mary and
foster father of Jesus.
Husband and father means worker. The work is more than a job. Joseph’s job
title was carpenter. A carpenter’s work is true or not. It is hard to argue
with the need for a squared piece of lumber or a clean-cut joint. A good
carpenter is good with tools, keeping them clean and sharp.
Taking the time needed to sharpen the saw is a way to good work, to doing
“from the heart.”
Here is a story I heard:
A man was working himself numb sawing down a tree with a dull saw. A passerby
observed that the task might be easier if the sweaty, weary worker took a
break to sharpen the saw. Keeping hard at his futile sawing, the worker
“Are you kidding? I can’t stop! I’m far too busy trying to fell this tree!”
I become dull and ineffective when I do not stop to work out, taking good
care of the body God gave me, or when I do not give my family the time it
needs from me. Or when I do not pause in the morning to pray or spend time
in the evening reviewing the day, giving thanks.
When I do not stop to listen to God, I am buying myself trouble.
Joseph listened and heeded, even when his job had to take a back seat. The
flight into Egypt probably was not good for Joseph’s job, but it was his
work, and he did it well. He saved his son’s life. It is good that he did
not let his job interfere with his work.