Pope Francis speaks of the dignity of work
At the start of Mass in the Casa Santa Marta on the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, Pope Francis prayed for workers around the globe.
“Today, on the feast of St. Joseph the Worker and the day dedicated to workers, let us pray for all workers, so that no one might be without work and all might be paid a just wage. May they benefit from the dignity of work and the beauty of rest.
Continuing God’s work of Creation
In his homily, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s reading (Gen 1:26-2:3) which recounts the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God.
He focused his attention on God’s “work” of Creation. God, he said, entrusted mankind with the task of continuing that effort.
“Work is exactly the continuation of the work of God. Human labor is the vocation that hummankind received from God ever since the creation of the universe. It is work that makes us similar to God, because through work men and women act as creators, and are capable of creating many things, even of creating a family.”
Vocation to work
The Pope said the Bible describes God surveying what He had done and finding it “very good”.
“Work contains goodness within itself, creates harmony between things – beauty, goodness – and involves every part of the person,” he said. “This is man’s first vocation: work. This gives dignity to mankind. Dignity makes us similar to God.”
Pope Francis went on to tell a story about a man who visited a local Caritas center to find food for his family. One Caritas employee told him: “At least you can bring some bread home.” The man replied: “But it’s not enough to bring food home. I want to earn my daily bread.” The Pope said this man was lacking dignity, the “dignity to ‘make’ his own bread through his work.”