Paul’s message is perfectly fitting for the Labor Day holiday we observe tomorrow… doing everything in God’s name for God’s glory. For those of us who are believers, is there any other way?
“Whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
~ 1 Corinthians 10:31
The early Christians recognized the dignity of work, giving it a special meaning. Their worship was known as “liturgy,” a word derived from the Greek for “public service” or “work.” So for the early Christians you could say the world was their workplace! Their mission was to invite others through prayer and witness into life with Christ.
Fast forward… and we see that the celebration of labor in the United States is a time-honored Catholic tradition with Masses, parades, and speeches. As his predecessors did, Pope Francis advocates passionately for justice in the workplace and the dignity of all labor. His message is especially important today because of the seemingly endless desire to accumulate and consume—regardless of who may be hurt or marginalized along the way.
Friend, as you pause to observe Labor Day tomorrow, know how grateful I am for the example you have set over the years through your own work. You have used your talents well in praising God. Then please say a prayer with me for the workers and families left behind: those looking for work, those sidelined by illness or disability, and all those impacted by the hardship of unemployment or underemployment. May they and everyone have the opportunity to live fully and contribute to a just world, fashioned in the image and likeness of God.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lord of all creation
having finished all Your works
You rested on the Seventh day
and gave the Sabbath as Your gift
that men and women might also rest
and find refreshment in You
and Your Word.
You, who made humankind in Your
image and likeness, have given us the power,
privilege, and dignity to be Your
co-creators in this world.
Bless the work of our hands,
the fruit of our labors, and
the products of our imaginations.
May we never consider any job
too lowly or small that we cannot
raise it up to you as a sacrifice
of praise knowing that everything
we do in Your name becomes
good, noble, and true.
In Jesus’ name.
~ Father Joseph R. Veneroso, M.M.