2021-09-05Labor DayRev. Msgr. Michael J. Motta, D.Min.

On this Labor Day weekend, I think about how important a role the Catholic Church has played in promoting the dignity of the worker.

In 1891 Pope Leo XIII wrote an encyclical emphasizing the importance of a just wage and a reasonable work day. He stressed that children should not be abused in the work place and provided with the opportunity for an education. The theme was repeated by Pope Pius XI and Vatican Council II.

Pope Benedict XV also promoted world peace by emphasizing the importance of the League of Nations. His ideas were repeated by President Woodrow Wilson and later used to establish the United Nations.

The Catholic Church was first to establish schools and universities.

The Church has always emphasized that all of us are created in the image and likeness of God. Each person is important even if he or she is handicapped physically, mentally or emotionally. That is why the Church has built hospitals, mental institutions and convalescent homes. Many of the needs of the underprivileged and the homeless are met through the Catholic Church running shelters and soup kitchens.

Whenever a tornado, earthquake, hurricane or flood strikes, Catholic Relief Services is ready to help regardless of nationality, race or religion.

The Catholic Church believes that people are more important than things. The Church condemns huge expenditures on military buildup especially when people go without food or a roof over their heads. Think of what Jesus said to Peter in the garden: "He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword." There are too many senseless killings in our country. That is why the Church pushes for handgun control.

Many people in the world see the Church as narrow minded, rigid, legalistic and out of step with the times. But, I do not.

We have every right to be proud of our Catholic Church. The Church has done and continues to do wonderful things in the name of Jesus Christ.

We could always do more and we should do more. I love being a Roman Catholic and so should you. Pray for those who no longer receive the Sacraments on a regular basis. They need to know that Jesus Christ loves them because He does.

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