Honoring Those Who Labor
Labor Day weekend is upon us which marks the unofficial end of Summer. Schools are starting back up – though not without some COVID difficulties – and the Fall sports season is about to kick off. At St Francis, we are also wrapping up some of our summer activities. Get Connected Sunday is on the 19th and the Bishop’s visit will take place on October 3rd.
However, before we launch headlong into the Fall season, it is good to stop and give thanks to God for the men and women who, in their daily labor, keep our nation moving. Many of us will be enjoying this long weekend with some time at the grill or a trip to the beach, but about 40% of working Americans will still be on the job on Labor Day, many in lower-wage service industries.
Ecclesiasticus 38:27-32a (found in the Apocrypha) describes what workers bring to a community. The text mentions artisans, smiths, and potters – wonderfully depicting the details of their craft. We could add restaurant workers, police and firefighters, medical professionals, store clerks and many others. Of them we could say, “All these rely on their hands, and all are skillful in their own work. Without them no city can be inhabited, and wherever they live, they will not go hungry” (Ecclesiasticus 38:31-32a). We need such faithful workers in our communities, yet too many are underpaid and underappreciated.
So, on this Labor Day, think about all the workers around you and the difference they make. Give them your thanks, and maybe say this prayer on Labor Day:
Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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