Today’s feast of Saint Joseph the Worker celebrates the dignity of human labor, and raises for me a standard that all I think, say, and do, will honor that all of us abide in the love and care of God as the vine grower.

Whether it is my own work, those who work with or for me, those for whom I work, or those whose work is far removed but benefits me each day, I recognize that the work and the worker is called to a higher standard – the good of all – as branches of Christ, the vine.

Imagine the absurdity of passing by a tree, a bush, a vine, or flower, and noticing that the branches, leaves, fruit, or blossoms are fighting with each other! Such a scene, even if only imagined, captures the absurdity in God’s eyes of the squabbles, conflicts, violence, hate, and disrespect amongst humanity.

Are we laboring against each other? Or, are we laboring for the dignity and growth of all? Our choice. Joseph labored as a carpenter, a father, a husband, a faithful Jew, and an early protector of God among us.

May I labor in the same selfless, loving, caring way as Joseph, as God calls me, so that God’s creation flourishes and grows in myself, my home, my workplace, my community, my nation, my world.

Make all that you do today a labor of love.

Fr. Chris Manahan, S.J. is Associate Novice Director at the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Alberto Hurtado, St. Paul, MN. For more information on Jesuit vocations, click here.