September 18, 2011: 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
First Reading: Isaiah 55:6-9
Second Reading: Philippians 1:20c-24, 27a
Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: Matthew 20:1-16
“The essential characteristic of the lay faithful who work in the Lord’s vineyard is the secular nature of their Christian discipleship, which is carried out precisely in the world. It belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will…the faithful, who by Baptism, are incorporated into Christ…to the best of their ability carry on the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world.”
How many people stand idle in the marketplace of isolated self indulgence, while their energy and skills languish? Do they assume this posture because they fail to see their work’s contribution to build God’s kingdom of justice and mercy? The dignity of work produces fruitful labor when people see their interconnectedness and interdependence with others. At work, when you see an associate dispirited, acknowledge their contributions and encourage their participation. In your volunteer or faith sharing activities, invite someone isolated, from the fabric of your neighborhood or parish, to participate. Share with them your blessings from laboring in God’s way and how they can equally experience God’s same generous gifts. Labor is not a burden, for we persevere in work when we call upon the Lord who is near and good to all, while compassionate toward all his works.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 20:1-16
At work, coordinate lunch one day where everyone brings one ingredient for a salad. Let it be a time to increase communication among your associates and team building where everyone contributes to making the salad.
Family Reflection: Psalm 145
Visit the website of Freeset Bags: freesetglobal.com
Learn how women are given meaningful employment and consider ways your workplace, school or parish might distribute these bags.
The reflection may be reproduced in parish bulletins, newsletters and for faith sharing groups without copyright concerns.