Happy Labor Day

Created in God's image, we were given the mandate to transform the earth. By their work people share in God's creating activity....Awareness that our work is a sharing in God's work ought to permeate even the most ordinary daily activities.

By our labor we are unfolding the Creator's work and contributing to the realization of God's plan on earth. The Christian message does not stop us from building the world or make us neglect our fellow human beings. On the contrary it binds us more firmly to do just that.

-John Paul II, On Human Work, 1981
We're celebrating Labor Day ( in fact Labor Day weekend) here in the US. We tend to think of it as the end of summer - a last chance for bbq's, picnics and family get togethers.

This year's Labor Day Statement from the US Bishops' Conference is written by Bishop Nicolas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
I hope in these brief reflections to recall the importance of Labor Day and remind us that the moral dimensions of work and workers’ rights are at the center of our Catholic social tradition. As we gather this Labor Day weekend, we should not forget how our nation’s economy and commerce, our standard of living, and even our time off are in many ways the hard won gains of workers organized into unions to bargain for decent wages, working conditions, and benefits, such as vacation time and health care coverage.

Let us also remember that too many people in our midst–and millions around the world—still lack decent work or fair wages, toil in terrible conditions, and have no real voice in their economic life. For example, more than 40 million people in our own nation lack genuine health care coverage. Our economy is strong in many ways, despite the serious and growing problems in the housing and credit markets. However, that strength is not shared as widely and deeply as our American tradition of “liberty and justice for all” and Catholic teaching on solidarity and human dignity would require.
He's got lots more good stuff to say. Check it out if you've got a chance amidst your last minute summer activities.

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