LABOR DAY - USA
Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Scripture Readings: 1 Thessolonians 4:13-18; Psalms 96:1+3, 4-5, 11-12, 13; Luke 4:16-30
My dear encountered couples:
Work is part of our nature. We can trace it all the way back to the Garden of Eden story. We are told that after God created Adam, “The Lord then took the man and settled him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and care for it.” (Genesis 2:15). The man was created in God’s image and likeness. God was a worker, man was made to be a worker. God created the world in six days, says the Book of Genesis, then rested from his work on the seventh.
Do you work? Of course, you do. Maybe not for a paycheck, but you do work of some kind. How else are we to fill up the days of our lives? We’ve got to do more than just lie on the couch, eat bonbons, and watch the never-ending soap operas. Hopefully we get the opportunity to make what we do meaningful and beneficial to the world and its inhabitants. Enjoy it or not, work is required not only to make a living but to make us feel worthwhile.
Paul and Jesus worked. Paul made tents, preached, and organized Christian communities. Jesus was a carpenter, physician, teacher, theologian, a worker of miracles. Like when we work they experienced weariness, stress, frustration; they were overworked and underpaid. In spite of all that, they remained dedicated and got the job done as well as they could. We are to do the same.
Jesus and Paul certainly found some joy in their work and received some earthly rewards. But by and large the fruit of their labors was not enjoyed until their work was finished and they went into eternity. Both worked till they dropped and then received in heaven what they deserved. Let us do whatever is our work as best we can for love of God, no matter what the pay, no matter what the pleasure or lack of it. The real payoff comes later. Celebrate Labor Day by thanking God for any work you have. It is that which will help perfect you in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ.