Franciscan Sister Kathleen Murphy begins another Just Gospel Series focusing on Pope Francis’ monthly intention on work, Tom Kendzia’s song Now is the Time and Core Values of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.
“…Spirit of God, walk among your people. Make us your own, now is the time…” We return to Tom Kendzia’s song, Now Is the Time to begin our thoughts for this month.
We know that God truly walked among his people in the person of Jesus. He knew every aspect of our human existence. Part of Jesus’ human experience was his knowledge of the reality of work with its dignity and its sufferings. But that was then and this is now. Today we call on the Spirit of God to come and walk among us making the challenges and joys of work holy.
Though our work may sometimes weary us, we know that many in our world are not blessed with the opportunity to work in ways that befit their dignity and giftedness. Thus, Pope Francis takes as his prayer intention this month, That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.
When people are denied work or respect in the workplace they soon become hopeless. Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, NJ reminds us, “As Christians we have no option but to be disciples of hope—a realistic hope, not pie in the sky in the great by and by. I suggest the way we do that is by putting a face on the faceless or restoring a human face to those whose faces have been distorted. In doing so, we show our face not as a bunch of isolated individuals but as a network of hope: people who believe and, because of that belief, accept the bond of solidarity.”
You may be thinking, “I’m not an employer. I don’t have the power to offer or deny work to anyone. I cannot go out and create jobs or even find employment for others. How does this challenge speak to me?” Of course Pope Francis is asking us to join him in prayer for those who long for the dignity of worthwhile work. That is a wonderful starting point…Pray!