“Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing.”
I love a saying commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “Doing your best means never stop trying.” It’s the striving that distinguishes what we do in life—and as believers, it also means the way we share our gifts with the less fortunate.
Tomorrow is Labor Day, a great American holiday that honors the workers and the strivers who labor each day on behalf of their families and their communities. For people of faith, we know that the tasks we perform with the intention of honoring our call to mission are another way of participating in God’s creation. The work we do each day has the potential to transform the world. And that’s not a fanciful thought. We each have a role to play—whether we’re bankers, homemakers, astronauts, or public servants.
The promise fulfilled in Christ is the gift we strive for: eternal life when our work in the here and now is completed. Our role as missioners is to make the world we live in a better place by witnessing God’s love and the gift of salvation. That means laboring in all the ways we know how: laboring to support our families… laboring to make our neighborhoods stronger and more livable… laboring to protect our environment… and laboring to build up our Church. We all have jobs to do. And every job counts.
This Labor Day I am especially grateful for our scientists and doctors… for our dedicated healthcare professionals… and for the combined forces that gave us a COVID vaccine in record time. Thanks to them, more people are returning to work each month in good health, and many of our service businesses are rebounding. Thank God for the labor that has made our fall season so hopeful.
Friend, this Labor Day stop and think about the work you are doing to transform the world. And don’t forget the day-to-day tasks that tell us who you really are in God’s eyes. Tasks like taking care of a sick family member, babysitting a grandchild, or sitting down to pray the Rosary. When we take care of one another in the company of Our Lord, we are changing the world. I wish you a safe and happy Labor Day. Rest a little… then back to work!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 1st Sunday
Accept, O Lord, the work of my hands,
all that I plan or produce, and use them
to advance Your kingdom on earth and give
You glory among the nations.
Receive, O God, my rest and relaxation,
in thanksgiving for all You have allowed me to do
with the time and talents with which You have blessed me.
Bless all people with health and strength
to find a decent job and work to earn a living
wage in safe and sanitary conditions.
Send a spirit of patience and encouragement
to all the unemployed and those seeking work.
Grant the means to retire in peace and security
to all who spent their lives in honest labor.
You Who commanded us to love our neighbor,
protect in a special way all first responders:
nurses, doctors, firefighters, and emergency workers
who risk their lives to hold the line in times of crisis and catastrophe.
For all they have done we give them thanks, and we give You praise,
O God, who call us to life, and fill us with Your love.
Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.