Labor Day

The Catholic Church values both work and those who labor. There is a sacred link between dignified work and faith.

More than simply making a living, good work provides insight into who we are as human beings. Our work contributes to God’s work of creation and should be done for his glory.

If work is misused it can become oppressive.

In the United States and Canada, Labor Day honors workers and is celebrated on the first Monday in September. Although it is a civic holiday, it is also a time for Catholics to reflect on how our work aligns with the work of God.

The goodness of work:

God is a worker and created man for work also:

The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it.

Genesis 2: 15

Work is a great gift:

Unlike ancient cultures, Christians embraced work:

Jesus Christ, when He redeemed us with plentiful redemption, took not away the pains and sorrows which in such large proportion are woven together in the web of our mortal life. He transformed them into motives of virtue and occasions of merit; and no man can hope for eternal reward unless he follow in the blood-stained footprints of his Saviour. “If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him.” Christ’s labors and sufferings, accepted of His own free will, have marvellously sweetened all suffering and all labor. And not only by His example, but by His grace and by the hope held forth of everlasting recompense, has He made pain and grief more easy to endure; “for that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.”

Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, 15 May 1891

Workers and their labor have value:

Workers have rights and should be treated with respect:

Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the Earth, both with and for one another. Hence work is a duty: “If any one will not work, let him not eat.” Work honors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from Him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the One crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish. Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2427

Man carries his cross daily in his work:

Work should be balanced with family and prayer:

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