Labour Day is usually a lazy day, the exact opposite of what its name implies. Most people have a final resting day before the crazy fall schedule kicks in. This is the time of year where many people start to look at what activities they are called to. We can program ourselves into a wild frenzy if we are not careful. What I loved about today’s readings was the reminder that even God finished working and took a rest from all the work that had been done in creating the world. That is one mighty job, but God still took a rest, trusting that all shall be well.
The other readings are also work-related. Psalm 90 asks in its responsorial for a blessing from the Lord on the work of our hands, that it may be successful. The Gospel of Matthew 25 reminds us that we are to utilize the God-given talents because we are given each gift according to our ability. God gives us gifts for a reason and expects us to share them and not hide them in the ground. Part of the work necessary is for us to ask a blessing on all that we do and pray for guidance on how to use the specific gifts God has given us so that a particular part of the Kingdom is built through us. God needs us to fit into the grand scheme of the Plan. We cannot hide, but in the same breath, we cannot overextend ourselves so that we are of no use. If God can take a break, so can we.
These readings are important this year, more than ever, as I return to work tomorrow, four and a half months after surgery and one month after beginning chemotherapy. I have discussed my decision with several people and the reaction is mixed. I am ready to return to meaningful work but not able to do so full-time. Still I will need to rest. I want to have a balance in my life so that all my energies do not go into my work days and then leave me no energy for other important activities.
I had to look at this whole idea of God resting too as my role model. Jesus we see within Scriptures also rested often. There is no shame in deciding to stop working some days and to take care of yourself so that the God-given talents can be used well and joyfully. We also need to pray a blessing on the work of hands to be successful in order to glorify God through what we do. As I return to work tomorrow, I am grateful to serve again in this capacity and look forward to resting as well when I am not at work.
Are you able to stop working and rest well? What are the merits of doing so for you?
What God-given talents are begging to be used as we enter the fall schedule?
Giver of Talents,
I thank you for these blessings
For the chance to serve You
and to help bring about the Kingdom.
May I not hide my gifts in the ground
May I remember to rest to be joyful
as I work with You to create a better world.
Indeed all is very good.