I hope that this holiday weekend is a time when you get to rest from your labors, spend time with loved ones and give thanks to God for your blessings. It is certainly a day when I am especially thankful for our parish community.
Labor Day was created to recognize the contribution of laborers to our society, and this is certainly in keeping with the Catholic social tradition of the dignity of work. There is a beautiful prayer taken from the Liturgy of the Hours that sums up this idea beautifully:
God our Father, work is your gift to us, a call to reach new heights by using our talents for the good of all. Guide us as we work and teach us to live in the spirit that has made us your sons and daughters, in the love that has made us brothers and sisters. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
This prayer might sound a little strange to us. Work, a gift from God? I’m sure that work doesn’t always feel like a gift! But when you think about it, work is a unique way to participate in God’s creative genius. He gives us the raw materials, and our works helps transform them into wonderful things. He gives us gifts and talents, and we practice them and put them to use for the good of others. When we make a conscious effort to unite our daily work –in the workplace and at home – to God’s plan, we realize how incredibly privileged we are to get to share in His work as we do.
With that in mind, I hope we are always grateful and say “thank you” to people whose hard work benefits our daily lives. I hope we are respectful and supportive to those who work for us. I hope we approach our own daily work with a strong work ethic and pride in a job well done. And I encourage you to approach your work with prayer, asking God to bless it so that it might help God accomplish His will for our world.
Happy Labor Day!