Updated: Jan 20, 2022
19TH JANUARY 2022
1 Sam 17:32‐33, 37, 40‐51; Ps 144: 1b, 2, 9‐10; Mk 3: 1‐6
HARDWORK IS NOT ENOUGH TO SURVIVE
What is work? Some people would say it is a necessary evil, like death and taxes. Others would say it is the way for them to get ahead. Others see it as a means to an end. Work, at least for most of us, is what we do to earn a living to take care of ourselves and others. Some people use work as an escape for facing the reality of personal relationships. What we must do is reflect on our attitude towards work and see if we practice gospel values in regards to working.
As I reflect on the readings, I wondered what was going to be the thoughts that would come. Yet my thoughts went rather to the idea of what is the value of work and what should be my attitude about work. So that is what I would like to share today. David is willing to do a work that none of the other Israelites would do. He is willing to take the risk of accomplishing something that needs to be done. He does not do this job of facing gigantic odds in order to make himself better known, or get a bigger salary. He does it because he knows it has to be done and it would benefit other people. He also does this job with confidence “with faith” knowing that God is with him. Prayer (being aware of God’s presence) is an essential part of his preparation.
In the Gospel, Jesus, too, sees what must be done: the proclaiming of the Gospel of God’s love. His reason for doing it is not to gain fame or make a better name for Himself. He wants to help someone (a man with a withered hand), not counting the costs to Himself. He does what He knows is necessary.
I started to think about why people do what they do. I realized that for some people, work is just to get ahead (and not “a head” referring to David getting Goliath’s head). People want to climb the social or financial ladder, and they don’t care on whom they climb to get there. Goliath wanted an easy life of having Israelite slaves and possessions that were not his, but which he would gain by his victory over David and the Israelites. Other people work because they are trying to protect their own interests and their jobs, as some of the Pharisees in today’s Gospel. They do not want anyone to upset their way of acting, so they want to destroy Jesus and His ministry before He rocks their boat even more. Other people work because they seem to think that their only value comes from work. Others do their job as escapes from being in relationship with family members or others. Still others only do just the minimum to get by.
What is my attitude towards work? I thought about that for a while today. I realized what my attitude should be. I should be working, as Jesus did, to bring glory to God, to help others, and to show that God cares for others. Being aware of God’s presence with me, I should not be afraid to face those huge challenges in my job. Yet, I must take the time to pray to be sure that I am doing it with God’s grace. Also, I should face my work and not be bogged down with extra hindrances (just like David realized that wearing all of Saul’s heavy armour would prevent him from getting the job done).
The overall reason for work is not to amass huge fortunes, but to provide a life for ourselves, our families, and to better the world – to announce the same Gospel that Jesus did – God’s love for others.We need to look at our attitude toward work.Are we giving God glory by the job we do?That does not mean we are audibly singing God’s praises, although that can help us.It means that we can look at the honest work we do and realize that we have used our talents and abilities to the best we can for the job we have been given.We have given our all so that we can be the good and reliable workers with whom the Master is pleased (Matthew 25: 21‐23).Our work should reflect the fact that God is with us and we are working for the edification (building up) of others.