Minute Meditations

The Work that Is Ours to Do

“Work is part of God’s loving plan, we are called to cultivate and care for all the goods of creation and in this way share in the work of creation! Work is fundamental to the dignity of a person. Work anoints us with dignity, fills us with dignity, makes us similar to God, who has worked and still works, who always acts.”—Pope Francis

As Jesus responds to those who question his identity as the Son of God, he puts it in terms of the work that God does in the world. From the beginning of creation, it is God’s work that keeps all the universe in existence. Jesus shares in that work. Pope Francis shows us by his deeds and occasionally by his words that his work as pope is to lead God’s people in the way of the Gospel. In any religious organization the foibles and weaknesses of human society can become more visible and at times more important than the underlying good work that’s being done. It’s part of the pope’s responsibility—any pope in history—to rise above the controversy and the squabbling to focus on doing God’s work in the world. We know that in our own lives—at home, at work, in school, in various organizations—that the less admirable behaviors can distract from the work at hand. We spend more time complaining about what other people are doing or not doing than we spend doing the work that is ours to do.

Reflect today on the work that you do, whatever that might be. Ask yourself how focusing on that work can keep you from falling into the various snares that Pope Francis often talks about— gossip, backbiting, jealousy, despair. How can your work help you to further the way of God in the world? When you feel disillusioned, remind yourself that it’s all about the work. With Jesus, you can say, “The Father is at work and I work, too.”

— from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis 

by Diane M. Houdek

The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis


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