Today is the 125th time the United States of America celebrates this national holiday. “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country” (US Department of Labor).
How different was the nation when this celebration was instituted then it is today? Is it possible that many have lost an understanding of solidarity?
As I was praying and reflecting for this blog, the following quotes stayed with me. Find one to take into your personal prayer and actions. By doing so, you renew your call to solidarity with all workers of our country and those who are in search of meaningful labor. You will embody what Jesus read to the people of Nazareth in today’s reading:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
May your labors be fruitful. Shalom.
“The many situations of inequality, poverty and injustice, are signs not only of a profound lack of fraternity, but also of the absence of a culture of solidarity. New ideologies, characterized by rampant individualism, egocentrism and materialistic consumerism, weaken social bonds, fuelling that ‘throw away’ mentality which leads to contempt for, and the abandonment of, the weakest and those considered ‘useless’. In this way human coexistence increasingly tends to resemble a mere do ut des which is both pragmatic and selfish.”
“Solidarity is about valuing our fellow human beings and respecting who they are as individuals.”
“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
“A hundred times every day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Pope John Paul II, ‘On Social Concern’ (1987)
“We are all one family in the world. Building a community that empowers everyone to attain their full potential through each of us respecting each other’s dignity, rights and responsibilities makes the world a better place to live.”
Beth is part of the customer care team at Diocesan. She brings a unique depth of experience to the group due to her time spent in education, parish ministries, sales and the service industry over the last 25 yrs. She is a practicing spiritual director as well as a Secular Franciscan (OFS). Beth is quick to offer a laugh, a prayer or smile to all she comes in contact with. Reach her here firstname.lastname@example.org.