“And He did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.”

The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker is an optional memorial but is celebrated widely.  The gospel reading for it comes from Mt 13:54-58:

Coming to His own country Jesus taught them in the synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And are not His brethren James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all His sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” And He did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

There is a danger in getting “too comfortable” with Jesus.  We believe — but to what extent?  Do we believe Jesus is in charge of our lives?  Have we even put Him in charge?  Are we disappointed or even angry and resentful when we are not granted some wish, even though we may be turning to Him only in moments of need, while otherwise settling comfortably into our secular lives, clinging to our “acceptable” sins and vices?  How is Jesus to do a “mighty work” in our lives if we give Him so little of our time or ignore Him outright?  Certainly the people in Jesus’ hometown had illnesses that they wanted cured.  Some believed in the power of Jesus and were healed.  But even upon seeing this, most could not bring themselves to faith in this One who had been so close to them for so many years.  Today’s feast celebrates the carpenter who fostered God’s son and was totally dedicated to Him and His mother, devoting his life in a very real and sacrificial way to them.  We are called to emulate Joseph who, unlike his fellow villagers, never let familiarity breed contempt but rather worked tirelessly for Jesus until his death.



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