This Monday is Labor Day, which is celebrated in the United States and Canada on the first Monday in September to honor the laborer. It was inaugurated by the Knights of Labor in 1882 and made a national holiday by the U.S. Congress in 1894. It is a day to give thanks for all those who labor for us.
One the feast days of St. Joseph is that of Joseph the Worker. Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955. While this is a recent feast, the relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers has a longer history. In a constantly necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, ultimately for the building up of the Body of Christ.
Also, coming next week is the twenty-second anniversary of the attacks and tragedy of September 11, 2001. With so much violence and fatal shootings in our world, country and our own city I invite you to take some time in the coming week either at Mass or in prayer to remember those who died, their families and to pray for an end of terrorism, racism and violence in our homes, city, country and world.
Pope John Paul II said. The human heart has depths from which schemes of unheard-of ferocity sometimes emerge, capable of destroying in a moment the normal daily life of a people, but faith comes to our aid at these times when words seem to fail, he stressed. Christ’s word is the only one that gives a response to the questions which trouble our spirit. He continues; Even if the forces of darkness appear to prevail, those who believe in God know that evil and death do not have the final say. Christian hope is based on this truth; at this time our prayerful trust draws strength from it.
Through prayer and solidarity, we will remember those who lost their lives, and pray with the still-grieving families and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy and unfortunately the many that have followed. Hopefully our thoughts and prayers will be a source of comfort for all and help to console us, strengthen us in hope, and give us the wisdom and courage to work tirelessly for a world where true peace, religious freedom and love reign among nations and in the hearts of all.
Msgr. John Shamleffer
Thank you to all who labor for our parish community, all our employees, volunteers, parishioners and benefactors. Blessings on your labor!