May Day has been celebrated as a major communist day. The first of May, May Day, is also the celebration of Sf Joseph the worker.
He is the quiet man of faith, in the background in the scripture stories surrounding the nativity of Jesus.
Joseph is the humble and good man who trusted God and accepted Mary as his wife even though she was carrying a child in her womb that was not his.
He accepted that Mary was carrying Jesus who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and not by another man.
He also worked as a carpenter, he was an artisan a tradesman.
This feast reminds us of the dignity of human work.
We are not just fodder for machines and industry, we are not just another clog in a machine.
In the Christian understanding of work, it is about a partnership with God. It is a way of making love visible. It is about collaborating with the ongoing act of creation.
Since the Encyclical Rerum Novarum (1891) many papal and other church documents have been written that speak about just wages and just and human conditions for work.
Safe workplaces, sustainable environmentally friendly work processes, the protection of the workers are all part of Christian work ethic.
As human beings we have God given rights that help to ensure a fair share in the bounty of God’s creation.
It is wrong for the powerful to oppress the less powerful, to take advantage of them with unfair and dehumanising working conditions.