Amoris Laetitia 24: The Dignity of Work

amoris laetitia memeWe continue with a reflection on work. Hopefully readers don’t see this as a diversion before the main topic. Remember, this is part of a biblical reflection. My sense would be to take the whole passage (Psalm 128) and reflect on its whole, rather than just be alert for what we might think is relevant to the planting and blooming of a family.

24. Labor also makes possible the development of society and provides for the sustenance, stability and fruitfulness of one’s family: “May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! May you see your children’s children!” (Ps 128:5-6).

Not quite a diversion, but an apt reflection on the work of a wife and mother:

The Book of Proverbs also presents the labor of mothers within the family; their daily work is described in detail as winning the praise of their husbands and children (cf. 31:10-31).

This passage is used, but less often and only in part, at weddings. Again, I would be careful about taking the particular prescriptions of a culture of the ancient world and applying it wholesale to the present day. The point is that women work too, and work hard. Their labor is vital to a fruitful family.

The New Testament witness:

The Apostle Paul was proud not to live as a burden to others, since he worked with his own hands and assured his own livelihood (cf. Acts 18:3; 1 Cor 4:12; 9:12). Paul was so convinced of the necessity of work that he laid down a strict rule for his communities: “If anyone will not work, let him not eat” (2 Th 3:10; cf. 1 Th 4:11).

I’m also reminded of the Benedictine tradition begun by that famous abbot of Nursia. Work is not just part of family life; it is part of the life of a disciple.

Remember: Amoris Laetitia is online in pdf format here. If one paragraph a day is too slow a pace for your personal curiosity, go there to read in full.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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