Workers Day has for more than a century been a battle for the rights of workers, a battle involving employers, employees and trade unions. The Church has been involved on questions of workers’ rights too during this time. Rights of women workers had only come up years later. Maternity leave had been an issue and more recently paternity leave had also been addressed. A fatherhood group had spearheaded this campaign for mothers and fathers to be able to bond with a new baby. In parishes this had also been discussed. Some dads had welcomed it while others had said, “I don’t want to be with my wife when she gives birth. It’s against our culture.” One man said, “I was with my partner when she gave birth and it was a very special experience.” St Joseph was a worker, a tradesman, a simple country man likely, given a tremendous task to support his young wife, Mary, when she gave birth to Jesus. So in one family group the question of childbirth came up, and dad said, “These days we don’t’ work on farms much and don’t live close to nature any more. I think it is still good for children to witness birth in some way like when our dog gave birth to her puppies my little daughter was amazed and we talked about the wonder of it together.”
Reflect, share and act. Scripture. Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward, you are serving the Lord Christ. Col 3:23-24. Pope Francis: We were created with a vocation to work. Work is a necessity , part of the meaning of life on this earth, a path to growth, human development and personal fulfillment. LS128. Pray. Mary, loving wife of Joseph, together you worked to build your family, pray for us.