Tag Archive: labour day


September 5 is the feast day of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Archbishop Prendergast of Ottawa mentions this on his blog today, as well as today’s observance of Labour Day.

Read the post here.

 

Homily for Mass, Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa

[Readings: Gen 1:26 – 2:3;  Ps 90;  Mt 25:14-30]

The dignity of human labour was a theme close to the heart of Blessed John Paul II.  He issued an encyclical titled “On human work” in 1981.  By our work, whatever form it might take, we share in a special way in the work of Jesus Christ.  The Council Fathers of Vatican II said, “For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every [person].  He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart.  Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin” (GS 22).

For Jesus, his whole life and mission was his work.  He said that he was always doing the work of His Father.  In all the ‘work’ Jesus did, he was constantly united with His Father.  He was continuing the work of creation, and accomplishing the redemption and sanctification of humankind.

Whatever work we do, therefore, if done in union with Jesus, also participates in God’s work of creating, redeeming, and sanctifying – ourselves, and the whole world.  Therefore we can speak about the dignity of our work.  Our work is not just meant to make us cogs in the economic machinery, and it shouldn’t just be seen as a means to accumulate goods and possessions.  It has a bigger purpose.

John Paul II taught: Jesus, The “divine Worker of Nazareth” also “reminds us that ‘life is more than food’ and that work is for man, not man for work. What makes a life great is not the entity of gain, nor the type of profession, or the level of the career. Man is worth infinitely more than the goods he produces or possesses.”

On this labor day let’s rejoice that through the work that God gives us to do each day we have a means of sharing in the work of Christ.  May everything we do or say be in the name of the Lord with thanksgiving to God [Communion ant.] and may the Lord give success to the work of our hands [Entrance ant].

See also my other post for Labour Day.

 

Labour Day in Canada

The first Monday of September in Canada is Labour Day [and it is spelled that way here too!]

In preparing for Mass tomorrow I came across an excellent article on Catholic Online that talks about the dignity of labour with reference to the teaching of Blessed John Paul II.

He emphasized the need for work to be rescued “from the logic of profit, from the lack of solidarity, from the fever of earning ever more, from the desire to accumulate and consume.” When the focus of work becomes subjected to what he called “inhuman wealth”, he said, it becomes a “seductive and merciless idol.” That rescue occurs when we “return to the austere words of the Divine Master: ‘For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?'” Finally, the “servant of the servants of God” proclaimed that Jesus, The “divine Worker of Nazareth” also “reminds us that ‘life is more than food’ and that work is for man, not man for work. What makes a life great is not the entity of gain, nor the type of profession, or the level of the career. Man is worth infinitely more than the goods he produces or possesses.”

Read the article here.

I am reminded, too, of the hymn Lord of All Hopefulness, especially verse 2 (which can be sung to the familiar SLANE of “Be Thou My Vision” fame).

Saint Joseph the worker, pray for us!

Lord of All Hopefulness
Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy,
be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.