Commentary on the Gospel of

Maryanne Rouse

It's Labor Day (in the United States)! This holiday that many of us celebrate offers an opportunity to reflect on our labors. And today's readings are delightful for just that.


The Collect begins it all:  “O God, who through human labor never ceases to perfect and govern the vast work of creation?” “Grant that all men and women may find work that befits their dignity, joins them more closely to one another and enables them to serve one another.”


A fantastic prayer and definition of aspects of labor that God wishes for us.  Our labor invites us into activity that perfects creation.  Wow! Take a moment to ponder: How do I feel when I envision my labor as making it possible to “perfect the vast work of creation”?  Nothing excluded.  It needs us to wrap my daily chores in the blanket of “perfecting creation”.  The tasks I cherish, and those that I would get rid of given the chance. It's about our attitude.


Today's Gospel is one of my favorites: Luke 4: 16-30.  Christ is in the temple of his hometown and announces himself as the One sent to fulfill cherished prophecies:  “To bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, to recover sight for the blind, to let the oppressed go free...”


All of this follows from his recognition that “the Spirit is upon me.”


On Pentecost, we celebrate the coming of the Spirit upon us. How about that?


Does this mean that going forward we are blessed with the belief that our labor needs to be celebrated, no matter what it consists of so long as we can bless it as Christ has?  We can relish those Old Testament prophecies being filled in us in whatever ways we choose to enter Christ's mission of bringing all things to God with love.


Maybe you can take some moments today to realize your awareness of the gift to the world of your labors, no matter how great or small they may seem.  To bring intention to this goal more deeply. And to celebrate in prayer the ability to bring glad tidings, release captives, bring freedom to the oppressed, and proclaim this day as the beginning of a year acceptable to the Lord.


Have fun with your musings.


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