Statement from Bishop Frank J. Dewane on the significance of Labor Day:
On this Labor Day, recall that Jesus teaches, in word and deed, that we should appreciate work. After all, Jesus Himself, having “become like us in all things, devoted most of the years of his life on earth to manual work at the carpenter’s bench.” (John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Laborem Exercens)
Work is an essential and important aspect of the human condition, helping us to feel useful, and necessary. Through work, we fully express who it is that God is calling us to be. On this Labor Day, let us strive to be grateful for our work, but also mindful of those who are out of work, underemployed, or mistreated in their work environment.
Though salaries and wages are on the rise and there is a low rate of unemployment, there is still cause for concern. With the current inflation rate, paychecks simply don’t go as far. One in three U.S. workers, 52 million people, are earning less than $15 an hour. The share of women and minorities earning less than a living wage is even greater. Labor Day is the perfect time for we as a Church to consider how to support workers and foster solidarity.
As God rested on the Seventh Day from all the work which He had done (Gen 2:2), may we enjoy the fruits of our labor on this day. If you need work, may you find it. If you have work, may you be enriched by it. And if you seek change, may the Holy Spirit guide you in searching for not just a job but fulfillment in your life. May you discover what it is that God is calling you to do, to be. Have a Happy and Blessed Labor Day and be assured of my prayers and best wishes on this nationwide day of rest.
+Frank J. Dewane
Bishop of the Diocese of
Venice in Florida