... run this past you. A doctrinal matter.
The solemnity of S Joseph Opificis instituted under the Venerable Pius XII seems to point in the direction of an exaltation of 'Labour'. But how biblical is the concept of the Dignity of Labour???
According to Genesis, Labour is a consequence of the Fall. God situated humankind in a 'Paradisus voluptatis', a description taken up in the Liturgical Responsorium. But through his disobedience, Man was ejected from Paradise and told that the very Earth is "maledicta in opere tuo". To give credit to the liturgical functionaries responsible for the Breviary propers issued at that time, we should remember that, for lectio iii at Mattins, they did include Genesis 3:17-19 & 23-24.
But I do not detect a full integration of this biblical structure into most of the propers. The middle nocturn, taken ex actis Pii pp. xii, lays emphasis on the pope's determination to remove odia ac jurgia and encourage civium pax by tweaking the Calendar.
The strategy appears to be: steal Mayday from the Marxists by exalting 'Labour' ("... labor nobilitatur atque evehitur"). In the last resort, this seems more like an echo of the politics of Pacelli and Spellman and the Cold War; of Will Italy Go Commie more than of theological rigor. Indeed, the theology of Genesis 3, considered in itself, might have suggested a penitential trajectory more proper to Lent than to Eastertide (May 1 must perforce come within that window which is in every year unavoidably Paschal). Perhaps this perception was in the mind of the hymnographus Evaristus D'Anversa who, in his hymn for May 1, wrote "victus cibique copiam/mensuret una parcitas".
Once when I was teaching II Thessalonians (3:6-12) it did occur to me to wonder if the Thessalonian Christians who were refusing to work had been led into this comfortable theologoumenon by the realism of S Paul's own teaching that, washed in the regenerating waters of Baptism, they were no longer subject to the consequences of the Fall.
That is speculation. What is, embarrassingly, clear is that the ideology of this feast seems incredibly distant from the ecological preoccupations of the current pontificate.
Pacelli's"terram subjiciant atque oeconomicae prosperitati consulant" is not very Laudato si, not terribly Amazonian, is it?
Popes come and go, don't they, bringing their delightful whimsies with them? Pretty poppets, but I wish we could have a nice run of three or four incredibly boring old popes whose motto was Quod accepi tradidi.