Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day

Rest on the Flight to Egypt by Federico Barocci, 1570

It was nice to have a different change of pace in the previous two months. The days were longer; the weather was warm and hot. Perhaps some of us had the opportunity to get away for a few days or to make some day trips. I hope that you had some time to relax and enjoy this time.

God wants us to relax. He taught us so when the Bible says that God rested on the seventh day. His Son, Jesus, had to get away from the crowds to pray and rest awhile. He was truly human and needed this.

We know that rest and relaxation are desirable and that almost everyone looks forward to this. Some would consider it ideal if they could do this all the time without any work. But, it would be so boring because we are human, and work is part of our human make-up.

As we celebrate Labor Day, we recall that God made us to work. The first sin of Adam and Eve did not bring work into our world along with all the other undesirable things such as concupiscence and a weakened will. Work would always be with us. Whatever work a person has to do should never be hated. Out of work comes good -- the good of society and the building up of one's own character.

A job can be hard and or distasteful by its very nature. Yet, it should have joy within it because of the accomplishment gained for those who benefit from it. Cleaning up a dreadful mess or performing invasive surgery are just two examples of jobs we would not consider pleasant. Yet, the successful completion of them brings happiness.

The thing which makes a job bad is unwholesomeness or immorality. When someone is disrespected by being forced to take unjust wages or to work in unsafe or demeaning conditions. It is also very wrong when a job's purpose is to take advantage of others, particularly involving sins against honesty and purity.

So, this Labor Day we thank all of us who have worked to bring about a nicer country in which to live. We pray for just wages, good working conditions and respect for the working person.

Father Stanley

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