Monday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

Monday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

September 2, 2019

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

Labor Day

First Thessalonians 4:13-18

Psalm 96:1 and 3, 4 and 5, 11, 12, 13

We call the fourth Sunday in November Thanksgiving Day,” a day we give thanks for our many blessings.  We call the second Sunday in May “Mothers Day” as we honor and remember our moms.  But why is the first Monday in September set aside for “Labor Day?”  On an ordinary first Monday in September in 1887 workers in New York City walked off their jobs to march together in the struggle for the right of working people.  Labor Day was born through the courage and sacrifice of workers who had no standing at all until they stood together.  That struggle continues in our world today.

I read a story of an eleven year old girl from China who had to leave her home in order to support her family.  She worked in a factory that makes medical supplies and lived in a dormitory for the company workers.  She was required to work twelve hours a day, seven days a week.  After eleven months she was paid $500.  Her hourly wage worked out to about 13 cents per hour.  Today nearly one billion people throughout the world live on less than a dollar per day wage,

Our Church has a long track record about the dignity of human work.  Catholic teaching on work is based on the principal that people are more important than “things.”   From the Book of Genesis, we come to understand that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God, and through work, we share in the tasks of the Creator.

In our tradition, work is not a burden or punishment.  It is an expression of our dignity.  Work is more than a way to make a living – it is a way of continuing to participate in God’s creation.  It is a way to make the world a more beautiful place, a more bountiful place -just as the Father originally created it.

On this Labor Day may all of us stand together and realize the dignity of work, the necessity of work and the danger of work.  We give the Lord our thanks for the talents He has given to us to perform the work we do or once did.  We pray for the less fortunate that they may find work that will sustain them and their families.  We pray for all who work to protect us especially our military, or police officers, or firefighters, and all other emergency personnel.  Finally, we ask our good Saint Joseph, the patron saint of workers, to watch over all who labor in order to make our world a safe and beautiful place to live.  

Question of the Day:  In what way can I call attention to the plight of workers around the world who are subjected to dangerous working conditions, poor pay and limited benefits?

Prayer:  Dear Saint Joseph, we ask for your powerful intercession on behalf of all workers who are being exploited and for all those who are seeking employment the opportunity of fair treatment and respect by their current and prospective employers. 

Prosit


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