Week of 9/3/2017
As we enjoy Labor Day, we reflect on whole idea of human work. Human labor in fact is rooted in the Garden of Eden; Adam and Eve were created by God for love; part of enjoying and participating in this love was work. Eden was not Club Med; as stewards of creation Adam and Eve had a responsibility to oversee the use of the earth as for the glory of God. The reality of suffering and tediousness with work only enter after Original Sin. Prior to that, work of any kind was pure joy for the love of God, and gratitude to God for the gift of creation.
Today, work has taken on a whole new dimension. In the secularized world, work has come to de- fine the human person, rather than the human person defining the work. A form of idolatry today can be “busyness”. That is, sometimes people find an almost odd pleasure in boasting about how busy they are, rather than taking a silent fulfillment in how much work can be offered to God. Dec- ades ago, the former Soviet Union initiated “May Day” (May 1), celebrating it as a communist “feast day” of the laborer. Ironically, though, it is not the laborer who is extolled in communism, it is the state. Pope Pius XII instituted May 1st as the day of St. Joseph the Worker, to remind ourselves of the greatest human father in history, and that all work is meant to centered on the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. Everything St. Joseph did was for God’s glory; only that template brings out the best ion all workers. Hence our meditation for Labor Day.
Sometimes we can use work to boast of being busy or ring up a list of accomplishments, or as an escape from other things, or as a way of gaining influence over others, or as a way of being compet- itive with others, or as a way of perceiving myself as better than others, or achieving public promi- nence, instead of simply offering up my work in thanksgiving and love to the God who died for me. These false motivations for work are many times subtly active, and we must fight them off with pray- er and confession. St. Joseph reminds us that we need to radically alter our culture’s understanding of work as first and foremost an offering of love to God.
How? One simple way is to make an offering of silent prayer each morning to God, to contextualize everything for the love of God. That when I greet others at work at the beginning of the day, when I sit down at the desk, or jump into the truck, or head off to the meeting, that I am consciously offering my activity for the love of God. That way, I will actually be more motivated towards the work, be- cause it takes on a much greater value. My goal is not just physical or emotional, it is supernatural. My motives for doing the work become purer. When I work to provide for my family, that is an obvi- ously fundamental and beautiful motivation; but when I further contextualize it for the love of God, I provide not just for material and mental needs, etc, but I bring them closer to God, the greatest goal of work of all.
Please keep in mind important upcoming dates: 7:30pm Tuesday and Thursday, September 12 and 14 respectively, for our General orientation sessions for all adorers for the perpetual adoration chap-
el. All are welcome! Also, we will begin perpetual adoration on Sunday, October 1st right after the 12noon Mass; please join us!
God love you,
Fr. Brian Gannon