Updated: Nov 24, 2021
As the end of the summer arrives and school begins, the nation celebrates Labor Day. Along with the picnics and outings, it is time to rest and reflect on our work. Each one of us is given a gift and responsibility to labor in the vineyard. This is an intrinsic part of our Christian, human dignity and it is how we discover our human potential. We are created in the image of God to serve the common good and to bring about the Kingdom as proclaimed by Jesus Christ. Through this past difficult year of the back-and-forth struggles in the workplace related to fears of the pandemic, on this Labor Day we give thanks to God for so many workers who have answered the call to service.
"Each one of us is given a gift and responsibility to labor in the vineyard. This is an intrinsic part of our Christian, human dignity and it is how we discover our human potential."
For our health care workers, we give thanks. Short-staffed from the beginning and overwhelmed at times, they are our unsung heroes. We give thanks for the men and women in our military, especially those in harm's way who have worked selflessly to see to the needs of others -- as we saw in the pullout of Afghanistan. In this most difficult year, may God grant them renewal and hope in their labors for the safety of our world. We thank God for our police, firemen, civil servants and emergency personnel. May they be strengthened and renewed in their dedication to our service. For our teachers who have worked so hard to provide virtual as well as in-class learning to their students. For these students themselves and their parents, working to learn through new forms of relationships. For all those dedicated family members who have cared for their loved ones and for our elderly, especially for those to whom the day-to-day isolation has been such a tremendous burden, we give thanks.
We know that the celebration of Labor Day does not mean that God's work is over. Our commitment to this precious life we are given and the work into which we are called is strengthened only through the loving hands of Jesus. For our clergy and laity working in the parishes, thanks be to God. You are keeping the faith alive and our parishes safely open. And for all our parishioners and their families, may they enjoy a moment of fruitful rest and peace over the weekend.
"We know that the celebration of Labor Day does not mean that God's work is over."
Blessings on you all! Let us keep our eyes fixed on heaven and give thanks, for we have been chosen to be our brothers' and sisters' keepers. As God's children, let us give thanks for the work of His hands. Happy Labor Day!
"As God's children, let us give thanks for the work of His hands. Happy Labor Day!"
Sincerely in Christ,
+Bishop Stephen J. Berg