Happy Labor Day Weekend!
Do you love to work? Do you love your job?
Labor Day gives us moment to pause and take stock of the fruit of our work. During my college years’ summers and breaks, I worked with a plumber installing hot water heaters. It was good work, hard work, and rewarding work. There is great dignity in seeing concretely the well-organized fruit of physical labor, and I believe that everyone should have such experiences in life. I remember the smiles and relief of grateful customers when we restored to them the possibility of hot water in their homes.
It benefits our souls to see work yield good fruit. Many folks who work at a desk find it very fulfilling to mow the lawn or do yard work or climb a mountain on weekends because they are seeing concrete results of physical labor. This weekend, consider that when you work, know that in some way you are helping to build up the kingdom of God and serving your brothers and sisters in Christ.
‘But what if I get no praise or affirmation at my job, how can I love it?’ If we are to be strengthened for work we must have a vision that sees purpose and fruit in our labors. Loving God and serving neighbor are the goal, not affirmation!
Consider this passage from the Imitation of Christ that peaks of superficial glory and flattery as empty substitutes for truth.
All superficial glory has been swallowed up in the depths of your judgment upon me. What is all flesh in your sight? Can the clay be glorified in opposition to its Maker?
How can anyone be aroused by empty talk if his heart is subject in the truth to God? The whole world cannot swell with pride the man who is subject to truth; nor will he be swayed by the flattery of all his admirers, if he has established all his trust in God.
For those who do all the talking amount to nothing; they fail with their din of words, but the truth of the Lord endures forever.
I could not help but think of social media, and the empty flattery that it is built upon. The satisfaction and dignity of labor are directly rooted in being rightly ordered to love of God and neighbor.
Please pause this weekend to thank God for the gift of work and pray for those searching for employment that they may soon find good work.
Father John Mosimann