My dear brothers and sisters,

This weekend marks the holiday of Labor Day. Some see this holiday as one marking the end of summer, others see it as a day off from work and other still as just another holiday to have a BBQ. Looking a bit further into Labor Day I think it is an important holiday to celebrate especially as Catholic Christians.

Labor Day honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, growth, and change in the laws and well-being of our country. Many social reforms came from the labor movement which resulted in child labor laws, fair wages, and safer working conditions for all workers. It is easy to see why we celebrate Labor Day and how closely it resembles our Catholic Christian values. In Proverbs 29: 7 “The just care for the cause of the poor;” and “Open your mouth in behalf of the mute, and for the rights of the destitute; Open your mouth, judge justly, defend the needy and the poor!” Proverbs 31:8,9 both excellent examples considering the Lord’s concern for the least, the lost, and the last. Those who cannot speak for themselves rely on those who can and will protect them. A perfect example of a Christian following God’s word and example.

We also celebrate Labor Day as a day of rest from our duties and work. Did not our God rest on the seventh day? Genesis 2:1-3 Are we all not part of the workplace giving of the gifts the Lord gave to each of us in our own way? We share our talents in the world which was created by God. We further mankind by our gifts from God for the world which He created. Yet we make time to rest. In Deuteronomy 5:13-15 The Sabbath is for everyone—all are allowed to rest from our work.

The following is from St. John Paul II on the importance of work in our world. An example of how we continue to the serve the Lord in our everyday labors by the gifts he has given us.  

Work is, as has been said, an obligation, that is to say, a duty, on the part of man. . . Man must work, both because the Creator has commanded it and because of his own humanity, which requires work in order to be maintained and developed. Man must work out of regard for others, especially his own family, but also for the society he belongs to, the country of which he is a child, and the whole human family of which he is a member, since he is the heir to the work of generations and at the same time a sharer in building the future of those who will come after him in the  succession of history. (St. John Paul II, On Human Work [Laborem Exercens], no. 16)

I want to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to celebrate Labor Day with praise to God who is a worker and a new appreciation for His gift of work and rest.

Yours in Christ,

Father Horgan

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