Sep. 5, 2016

In the spirit of Labor Day

"Is it permitted on the Sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?" (Lk.6:9-10)

The Family Apostolate wishes all our followers a wonderful Labor Day in America. Hope you have fun with family, friends and loved ones on this day. As the first Monday in September, Labor Day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. We recognize the contributions of great workers to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of others in the U.S. May God bless you all.

In today's gospel, Christ encounters a difficult group of Scribes and Pharisees on a Sabbath, the day of rest. At the same time, he is presented with a man who suffers deformity; his hands are withered. They watch Christ closely to see if he will cure the man with the withered hand. They plan to charge him with offending the Sabbath. But he defies their thoughts. He heals the man. It is in the course of this healing that Christ put the question to them, "Is it permitted on the Sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?" (Lk.6:9-10). That's a serious question. Christ places more emphasis on the dignity of the human person than on the legal implications of the Sabbath. Doing good is pre-eminent.

We can also apply that question to the Labor Day, a day of rest for the American people. Labor Day is a holiday, a day of rest, for sure. Is it permitted on Labor Day to do good, or to do evil; to save life or to destroy it? What are you doing today? How are you spending this day of rest? It is good to remember those with withered life situations, the poor and the lonely. It is good to remember the homeless who have no one to spend this day with. It is important to remember the prisoners who cannot fully enjoy this day with their family. It is important to think of doing a single good today. The day of rest does not exclude doing good. The day of rest does not negate the image of God imbued in each human being at creation. The day of rest is not meant to do evil. The day of rest should promote creation and its dignity.

So, have good time with your family today, and use the Labor Day to to do one good, restore the some form of creationto its dignity. If your family is withered by hatred and anger, bad feelings for one another, see if you can use the Labor Day to restore it to the peace and love of God. If you have hurt someone, use this Labor Day to reach out and restore that distorted, withered relationship. Don't drink all day. Don't make trouble. Make peace. God wants us to be whole not distorted. He wants us to be complete not truncated. He wants us to save and not condemn. He wants us to restore and not destroy. He wants us to do good and not evil. That is the spirit of Labor Day. Oh help us, God!