Monday, September 5, 2016

Today is Labor Day - what does that mean to us?

Today marks the civil holiday of Labor Day. On this day we remember those who fought for workers' rights in America and founded the first labor unions to protect workers and organize to collectively negotiate with management to increase workers' pay, increase safety in the work place, and other similar labor advances. Although no doubt there is much debate among our parish family members about the efficacy of unions in our days this is not the point of this post. Rather, it is informative for us to understand that the nascent labor movement practically got its start here in Michigan in the auto plants of Flint and Detroit. There is no doubt that workers' rights – especially safety – were sorely lacking in those days.

As Orthodox Christians we thank God for the life He has given us. We must be lovers of labor and work diligently and sincerely as a Christian duty. This is not to say we should accept abuse – not by any means. But the Lord has kindly arranged the world that we would work for our daily bread. Let us thank God that He has given us this order, and that he has provided us the opportunity to work and to support our families in peace here in America. We are people of hope, people of love, and people of thankfulness. We have much to thank God for as regards our ability to work safely here in America. Today is a day that allows us to concentrate on that thankfulness. Let us take a moment today to do that and not forget that this is not just a day off of work, but a day to thank God for His love and mercy towards us.

On this day we also ended the second annual Diocesan sponsored Walk of Life Pilgrimage in our parish. Again - here we have something to be very thankful for - something we can and should and must thank God for. Was it easy for us to do this - only a few days before our annual festival? Of course not! But there was a need, and the Lord gave us the opportunity to fill that need. Let us all, on this day of reflection on the many things for which we should thank God, thank Him for allowing us to undertake this struggle. Success only comes before work in the dictionary - otherwise work must come before success. Thank you to all who make the pilgrimage possible by your hard work! And may this hard work be an inspiration and an example to others that they too may engage in good works for the glory of God in this short life!

Fr. Gregory

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