Work for Things that Last
I have been reflecting on and writing about work for the past couple of years. It is amazing how pervasive the word is in or culture. It is used and defined in many different ways. I am intrigued by the many negative synonyms there are for work, such as labor, toil, effort, drudgery etc… We often say that we go to work or have to work on something, we have work to do, or something is or is not working for us. Career and job are defined as work, or at least that which is most significant or provides for our family.
Work and pleasure are often cited as the two basic aspects of our lives, thus creating a great distinction between the two. When you really stop and think, we work at just about anything and everything in life. We are more aware of it and define it variously when it catches our attention. Therefore we are almost always working and thus much of work is good and productive. Work of all kinds, not just career or job, can bring us much pleasure and can be so meaningful and engaging.
The most basic contention that I have is …Our Work is God’s Work. We all continue the work of God begun in creation. I complement that with my own definition:
Work is anything we put effort towards.
That means that much of work is and can be positive, energizing and meaningful.
Two lines from Jesus in this week’s Gospel are central in forming a big part of my philosophy of work.
To the people who are following him, after they have gotten a free meal and seek another one – and thus are not seeking him for the right reason, Jesus says, “Do not work for food that perishes but for food that endures for eternal life.” In other words, work for food that lasts – things, purposes, endeavors, goals that last, that perdure. Food used in this context is a metaphor for anything in life. Jesus continues, indicating the source – food which the Lord will give us; not just the Eucharist, but gifts and resources and countless other things that are sources of God’s grace. The good Lord will give us this food.
The second is a question put to Jesus, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus’ answer is simple. To do the works of God we must believe in the one he sent – namely Jesus, his son – namely himself.
This underscores the importance of, and continues to be a source of fascination for, the connection of our faith and our work. May this Gospel inspire us to work with, for and like God in any work that we do, with belief in Jesus Christ.
Adventures in Grace: A Pilgrimage
Please circle Sunday, September 26 and Wednesday, September 29 on your calendar. Those are th dates that our Pilgrimage of Grace will begin. Dr. Terry Nelson Johnson and his Soul Play team will help us to kick off the adventure of delving deeply into the grace of the Sacraments as indicated by our church, but also the grace that emanates from the sacramental moments well beyond the confines of church or religion. I am asking all of you to participate in this adventure. Engage your spiritual imagination with us and spread the word. Get ready for a meaningful, exciting and all-parish spiritual journey.
I hope you all appreciate the varying schedules that we as presiders balance. Between emergency family funerals out of town and other schedule conflicts, there are times when we invite priests to preside that you may not be familiar with. We thank Fr. Joji Thanugundla from St. Anne in Barrington and Fr. Ken Kapura, retired from St. Mary in Buffalo Grove, for sharing their talents and reverence with us recently.
Morning Mass Schedule
Thank you for your flexibility and understanding with some shifting schedules as we come out of Covid. As a reminder we will be offering Mass on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:00am in our Chapel beginning August 16.
Additionally, we will offer Anointing of the Sick on the First Friday of each month after the 9:00am Mass.