Yesterday we started a Novena to St. Joseph for our families and our world. St. Joseph was known for his trade as a carpenter (Mathew 13:55). The word in Greek is "tekton" and means a workman or builder, but specifically a builder in wood (as opposed to a stone mason or a blacksmith). He taught his foster son Jesus the same trade (Mark 6:3). Don't think of the quaint pictures of tidy workshops. Rather, think of a man driving a beat-up work truck full of tools -- that's probably our best modern equivalent.

"Work" for many Americans is less about building things and more about logging on and clicking things. Even priests are finding themselves "working from home," live-streaming Masses and homilies to crowds hundreds or thousands of miles away. Interestingly, tekton is also related to our words technique and technology. St. Joseph is a patron not just of working men, but of all those who earn a living with their hands and their skills. How does the work you are currently doing "build up" the Christian community and better your neighbors? If you are suddenly out of work, say a prayer to St. Joseph. Look for some manual labor you can do, perhaps raking the neighbor's leaves or doing a little work around your own home. Let me know in the comments the work you are engaged in. And if you find yourself struggling with technology, maybe instead of dropping some curse words, you can say a prayer.

Prayer to St. Joseph

Good St. Joseph,
as you led the Holy Family, watch over our families.
Help our family and all families to know and share God’s love.
In our family relationships, may we find healing and seek to be holy.

May our fathers help us to become faithful disciples of Jesus
who share our love for Him.
As a foster father of Jesus,
watch over all who serve as spiritual fathers.
In a special way, bless our Holy Father, our Bishop, and our priests.
May they follow your humble example in their fatherly care
for the people of God, the Church.

With Mary, you raised Jesus the High Priest.
You know our need for priests.
Please raise up good and holy priests from our families
to serve the people of our diocese.
May our children and grandchildren hear and say “yes” to the call of Jesus, just as you and Mary did.Paragraph

Good St. Joseph, pray for us.