By Chaplain (Maj.) Jorge Budez
Special to GUIDON
We have been celebrating Labor Day since 1894. While Labor Day is, for most people, a day off from work, for Christians, it is more than that.
Labor Day is a time to consider the meaning and influence of our work; work is a large part of our lives.
It shapes our existence and the existence of our loved ones. In a materialistic society, it is essential to remember that the Christian perspective of work is to honor the person and not dishonor it.
We were not created to live for work, but to work so that we might fully live.
Perhaps some see and understand work as a burden, while others allow their work to absorb their entire lives; that they have little to experience beyond it.
Our work, however, is intended to be an extension of God’s creation.
For Christians, a day of rest began at creation: “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation,” (Genesis 2:2, 3).
This day of rest was of such importance to God that he established it as part of the law. “Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord,” (Exodus 31:15).
God desired to set aside a day to rest from his work as an example for all of us to follow.
And so, Labor Day reminds us that through our work, we have the opportunity to use our talents for the common good of the entire human family.
Work, for us Christians, is to extend the beauty of God in the lives of those around us.
As Pope Francis says: “Work is precisely from the human being. It expresses the dignity and grace of being created in the image of God. Therefore, work is sacred.”
Work is for Christians a way to reach and dignify the livelihood on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level.
This upcoming Labor Day weekend, let’s celebrate the work of our hands by bringing to mind the sacredness of our effort to build a better world for future generations.
(Editor’s note: Budez is the 3rd Chemical Brigade chaplain.)