(Optional) Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker
(Acts 5:17-26; John 3:16-21)
American writer Marilynne Robinson has won fame for her novel Gilead. As evidenced in the book, she can articulate profound thoughts. In a separate essay entitled “Humanism” Ms. Robinson queries the seven dimensions to being that string theory physicists have added to the usual four. She says that the concept, established in mathematics, changes how humans consider reality. Like the Galilean revelation that the earth is not at the center of the universe, string theory makes even Einstein’s notion of relativity obsolete. It might be said that today’s gospel anticipates string theory.
The passage has been called “the gospel in miniature” as it goes to the heart of the Christian message. It speaks of “eternal life,” whose root meaning is outside of time. The concept of eternity presents a new dimension of reality. It cannot be experienced in its fullness, at least, under present circumstances. It is peace, joy, and – most of all – love in all their wonder. God, the Father, wills eternal life – the life He lives with the Son in the unity of the Holy Spirit -- for the world. He has sent His Son, who is called Jesus the Christ, to deliver it.
Today we remember St. Joseph the Worker. The feast day was established to support the faith of ordinary people. Anyone who works should celebrate today. But they should not be content to give thanks for a job or even for the role of being co-creator (perhaps, better, junior apprentice) with God. No, we give thanks to God as well for the gift of eternal life.