Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Workday Wednesdays: Thank God for Work

It's Wednesday, midway through the work week for most people, and that day when many people begin looking eagerly forward to Saturday. It may be a strange thought, but I want to encourage everyone to take a moment and Thank God for work.  After all, God created work and He did it for our own good.

In fact, even in the Garden of Paradise way back before the fall of man, there was work to be done. The first work assignment ever given to man is found in Genesis 1:28: 

“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

That's right, our original work assignment was to be put in charge of the creatures of the earth.  We were their caretakers, just as God was ours.  This assignment was not meant to be burdensome, but was meant to teach us to use our power to serve just as God uses His power to serve those who cannot serve themselves.  
That's what work makes us do - serve others.  When we do our work well, we see the benefits of our service not only in the form of a paycheck, but quite often in the increase in trust that we're given by our supervisors, by the esteem we are given from those we have helped, and our own sense of self-worth and dignity is affirmed.  

Work also keeps us busy, and that can help us stay out of trouble.  After all, it was during leisure time in the Garden of Eden that Adam and Eve got into trouble. 

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another. 210 Hence work is a duty: "If any one will not work, let him not eat." 211 Work honors the Creator's gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work 212 in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish. 213 Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.- Section IV, Article 2427

Work is a gift that not only allows us to sanctify ourselves by the way that we perform that work, but lifts us up in dignity and affirms our value as human beings. Through work, we are allowed to use our gifts and talents to the benefit of others. Thank God for Work!  The next time we are tempted to complain about our jobs or the work that we have to do, let us be reminded of those who are incapable of working or of those who cannot find work to do.

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