Josemaría Escrivá Obras

Sometimes, in the case of people poorer than himself, Joseph would charge only a little — just enough for his customer to feel that he had paid. But normally he would charge a reasonable amount — not too much or too little. He would demand what was justly owed him, for faithfulness to God cannot mean giving up rights which in fact are duties. St Joseph had to be properly paid, since this was his means of supporting the family which God had entrusted to him.

We should demand our rights, but not for selfish reasons. We do not love justice if we do not wish to see it fulfilled in the lives of others. In the same way, it is wrong to shut oneself up in comfortable religiosity, forgetting the needs of others. The man who wishes to be just in God's eyes also tries to establish the reign of justice among men. And not only for the good of God's name, but because to be a Christian means to work at fulfilling all the noble yearnings of men. Paraphrasing a well-known text of St John, we can say that the man who says he acts justly toward God, but does not do so with other men, is a liar: and there is no truth in him.

Like all Christians at that time, I too was happy and grateful at the Church's decision to declare a liturgical feast in honour of St Joseph the Worker. This feast, which ratifies the divine value of work, shows how the Church publicly echoes central truths of the Gospel which God wishes men to meditate, especially in our own time.

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