Good News for Workers… and All of Us

Labor Day

Luke 4:16-30

In the proclamation of his mission, Jesus tells the people in the synagogue that he has been sent to bring Good News to the world, especially to people who are poor and suffering. Today, Labor Day, we give thanks to God for the opportunity to participate in his continuing work of creation through our own work.

Some of us work in offices. Others work in factories, in the streets and fields of the world.  No matter where we work, no matter how we work, our work is important. We all can contribute to make life better for ourselves, for our families, for our communities and for our church.

Catholic Social Teaching reminds us of some very important things:

  • Our economy exists to serve people and their needs. 
  • Work has a fundamental dignity.  Whether it is paid or unpaid and no matter what form it has, work is part of what it means to be human and to be part of a community. 
  • If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must also be protected:  the right to decent and fair wages and benefits, the right to organize into unions and other associations, the right to private property and economic initiative.

Our gospel reading reminds us that the Good News is not always accepted, especially when it calls us to change our attitudes, to examine our assumptions and prejudices, and to recognize that God loves all people, especially those on the margins of society. We pray today for the courage to accept the gospel and to dare to put it into practice, not only in our personal relationships but also in our public structures and institutions. jc