Human Labor, God Gifts

2017-09-05T10:00:58+00:00 Sep 5th, 2017|Categories: Bite-Sized Faith for Parents, Blogs|Tags: |0 Comments

In the creation account of Genesis, God gave human beings, created in His image and likeness, a command to “Fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen 1:28).

In his letter to the Thessalonian Christian community, St. Paul also wrote encouraging the faithful to work: “When we were with you, we gave you this command: If anyone will not work, let him not eat”, and exhort them “to do their work in quietness and to earn their own living” (2 Thes 3:10, 12).

Therefore, in the plan of God, work is seen as a right and duty that is essential to safeguard, protect, exploit, and make the earth’s resources value the life (human, animal and plant) and of society. Human labor helps to direct human activity and innovation toward God in the fulfillment of His command to “fill and subdue the earth.”

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
(1 Cor 10:31)

Humans find their work when we discover a particular role in life where the charism, love, and talents within us match up with challenges, needs, and  problems of the world around us.

We experience a sense of engagement to that role of building the world and helping human needs.

So human work that leaves the creation fuller, safer, and better than ever before echoes through creation and within the human heart that satisfaction and spiritual values for which we yearn.

In some instances, human labors at home, in the fields, in industries, in space, in school and in offices can turn into an exhausting “busyness” ultimately  empty of meaning and purpose.

When we face the work at hand, with all its difficulties, its rigors, repetition, irritations and frustrations and then accept it, work can be a way we really live in solidarity with the poor and those unable to work in our world. Our work can be our commitment not to live off others, not to sponge, not to evade, not to cheat, but to give off our best in serving the world.

Humans find their work when we discover a particular role in life where the charism, love, and talents within us match up with challenges, needs, and  problems of the world around us.

Our labor can lead to self-fulfillment using the gifts and talents we know we have, and calling on gifts of which we are unaware. Work is our gift to the world, our social fruitfulness. It unites us with our neighbors and binds us to the future life. Work is meant to build community.

In every circumstance when we work for others, we give of ourselves and show charity. We never work for our own good alone.

Human labor gives us a place in God’s salvific plan. It helps redeem the world from sin and corruption. Our work enables creation to go on creating, bringing us all one-step closer to what the kingdom of God is meant to be.

(Fr. Mark Owusu, Pastor, St. Catherine of Siena)

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