St. Clare of Assisi
Work of Human Hand
Work of Human Hand
They [people in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth] also asked, "Is this not the son of Joseph?" Luke 4:22
This passage tells of how the people in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth rejected him after listening to him teach in the synagogue on the Sabbath. They questioned Jesus’ authority and His origin. At Nazareth, Jesus was a man of work and that work enabled him to develop his humanity. It’s through Joseph that Jesus learned the value of work. As Catholic Christians, we are taught that “work” should be viewed in light of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ: God became a human person! “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. Hence work is a duty: "If any one will not work, let him not eat." Work honors the Creator's gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work 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. Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ. (Catechism of the Catholic, par. 2427) So "work" is an invitation to participate in that extraordinary plan, if it is joined to Jesus Christ. Each time, everywhere around the world, when the Eucharist is celebrated, the priest receives the gifts which are brought forward by the community of faith, and he says, “Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.” He then takes the wine and says, “Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.” Our labor symbolized in bread and wine – which thru God’s power become for us the bread of life and our spiritual drink. This transformation gives us life and strength!
Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you. (St. Augustine)
God of might, giver of every good gift, put into our hearts the love of your name, so that, by deepening our sense of reverence, you may nurture in us what is good and, by your watchful care, keep safe what you have nurtured. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. (22nd in Ordinary Time, Collect prayer)
Make it a Happy Labor Day by helping those who were impacted by the storm Harvey!
Peace in Christ,
Father Vincent Vuong Nguyen
Sent by Fr. Vincent Nguyen on Monday, September 4 at 8:18AM