Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
(I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Luke 4:16-30)
Americans tend to rest or recreate on Labor Day. Unlike the other two national summer holidays, Labor Day has always fallen on Monday to make a long weekend. Also, Labor Day marks the end of the vacation season – the last day of ease before the fall harvest of research papers or of production quotas. Although election campaigns traditionally begin on Labor Day giving some cause for reflection, the United States seems to have deliberately avoided a May 1 holiday when most of the world meditates on the meaning of work.
How opportune then is it for us to have today this gospel passage where Jesus proclaims good news to the poor! Only in recent times has technology delivered many workers from poverty in developed economies. Jesus brings salvation for the poor even ahead of the rich since money cannot buy entrance into the
. Rather, it is a humble heart, which workers
more than bosses tend to cultivate, that finds God’s favor. Kingdom of God
Jesus’ good news includes the message that work itself is a gift from God. Whether we are the architects of a cathedral rendering glory to God or the bricklayer’s apprentices mixing cement to hold its stones together, our work contributes to the advancement of society. It also provides the bread for our tables, the roof over our heads, and medical assistance for our bodily welfare. Finally, work disciplines us to be industrious, efficient, and considerate. We need work almost as much as we need to relax and to celebrate God's goodness.