The book of Genesis presents work as either a curse or a blessing. As a curse, work may be taken as form of punishment or slavery (Gn 3:17: “Cursed is the ground because of you! In toil you shall eat its yield all the days of your life”). As a blessing, work is man’s participation in God’ creative work, as steward and caretaker of the earth to make it productive (cf Gn 2:15).
John Paul II writes in his encyclical Laborem Exercens (1981) that the concept of man’s dignity in work should be structured on four points: the subordination of work to man; the primacy of the worker over the whole of instruments and conditioning that historically constitute the world of labor; the rights of the human person as the determining factor of all socioeconomic, technological, and productive processes, that must be recognized; and some elements that can help all men identify with Christ through their own work.
Gospel • Mt 13:54-58
Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.
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