As I was reading the Missalette in preparation for writing this column I was struck by the title at the top of the page for Monday, September 7th:
“For the Sanctification of Human Labor”
The yearly celebration of Labor Day finds within the Catholic Church beautiful prayers that speak to the human need to bear the labor of this world:
The Entrance Antiphon: “May your favor O Lord, be upon us, and may you give success to the work of our hands.”
The Collect: “O God, who through human labor never cease to perfect and govern the vast work of creation, listen to the prayers of your people and grant that all men and women may find work that befits their dignity, joins them more closely to one another and enables them to serve their neighbor. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
These prayers can serve as an inspiration to us as we busily prepare ourselves for work each day. We are meant to labor together and while doing so reach out and care for one another. Our labor which serves to provide an income so that we can take care of ourselves and our families is blessed by God, sanctified by God, that we might serve him by serving others. Our work is made holy by God’s design!
So important is this teaching, that it is addressed in the “Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching:” Theme
#4: The DIGNITY OF WORK The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. To uphold the dignity of work, the basic rights of workers must be respected: the right to productive work, to fair and livable wages, and to organize and join a union.
Let us take time to think about how the dignity of the Many of us can attest to how our jobs and our work provide us more than a living, they provide a sense of pride and accomplishment, and allow us to contribute to the good of society. Our work has the potential to give expression to who we are as a person of God and by it we are sanctified.
So as we celebrate Labor Day, honoring all people who by their labor contribute to the building up of our country, let us take a day without labor and give thanks to God for blessing the work of our hands. Have a restful Labor Day,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC