Today, as we honor all those whose labor enhances our lives and the lives of others, we recognize the holiness of the work we do. Whether we labor for an employer or company, for our own families, or both, we set aside our own desires to expend our time and effort to do something for others. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that they must deny themselves and take up their crosses. We all have crosses that we are called to bear and some of them can be found in the works we must do for others.
Jesus taught us how to accept God’s will. He had the power to avoid what he knew he must do. He had the power to fight back against the authorities. He had the power to provide a fairy tail ending where he would be crowned and lauded in triumph over his opponents. But Jesus knew that the power he needed to defeat was not Pilate’s or Herod’s. So he followed the Father’s will, united himself to us in his suffering, and defeated death, stronger than any worldly enemy. It is difficult to deny our own desires, priorities, and will to follow Christ. Since suffering and hard work are part of life and are a necessary part of our calling as the Lord’s disciples, may God’s word and sacrament strengthen us so that we may better endure the work, the labor, and our tasks in life’s journey.
Love, Peace, Joy,