Happy Labor Day!
Back in the Middle Ages, a royal dispatcher went out to determine how laborers felt about their work. He went out to a local building site in France, where he approached a worker and asked, “What are you doing?”
“What are you blind?” the worker snapped back. “I’m cutting these impossible boulders with primitive tools and putting them together the way the boss tells me. I’m sweating under this blazing sun. It’s back-breaking work and it’s boring me to death.”
The dispatcher quickly backed off and retreated to a second worker. He asked the same question, “What are you doing?”
The second worker replied, “I’m shaping these boulders into usable forms, which are then assembled according to the architect’s plans. It’s hard work and sometimes it gets repetitive, but I earn five francs a week and that supports my wife and kids. It’s a job. Could be worse, too.”
Somewhat encouraged, the dispatcher went on to a third worker. “And what are you doing? He asked.
“Why can’t you see?” said the third worker as he lifted his arm to the sky, “I’m building a cathedral!”
This Labor Day, let us acknowledge that the work we do is often difficult. Sometimes it is done under trying conditions and it certainly is not always exciting. There are days though that we do have a better sense of what it is we are attempting to do. And, though we may not always feel that we are in charge or in control, we do recognize that our work at least earns us a living, and it definitely, “Could be worse…”
But there are times when we are able to see the bigger picture... that what we do is not just a job, but truly a vocation which calls us to help form the students with whom we work into responsible young adults… that what we do contributes to the betterment of our society. On our best days we are even aware that we are taking part in the construction of a grander vision of the “Reign of God,” the “Kingdom” that Jesus proclaimed in the Gospels. Marcellin heard this good news and founded the Marist Brothers to further this dream. May we see ourselves as disciples of theirs and colleagues who carry this out today. Happy Labor Day!
This Monday Minute is from Br. Brice Byczynski, currently listening to
Everything Glorious by The David Crowder Band. Listen in at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlHqG00xCLA