Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, pope and doctor of the Church
(I Corinthians 2:1-5; Luke 4:16-30)
If all "Labor Day¨ means is the last of the summer holidays, then there has been a pitiable loss of significance. More than a day off work, Labor Day celebrates work. It is a time to contemplate the meaning of work and its inherent dignity. Jesus at least intimates as much in today's gospel.
Jesus proclaims "glad tidings to the poor." He does not mean the destitute or the unemployed but the majority of workers at the time who have difficulty meeting family needs. They no longer have to worry for their salvation is at hand. God loves them and will provide for their welfare.
Work, of course, produces much more than money to put food on the table. As importantly, it gives humans an opportunity to participate in divine creation. This may be readily seen in the efforts of builders, scientists, and artists, but it is true of all people who labor. By cooking, selling, or cleaning we make the world a better place by assisting others live full and gracious lives.