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Sophia Talks: The dignity of work

 

What we do in our work, no matter what it is, is evidence of God’s love.

That was the main message from Fr. Stefano Penna’s March Sophia Talk.

We have a special relationship of working with our hands, he told those who had gathered at our main administrative office, as well as others who had video conferenced in. 

“Labour (is) dignified and made holy by the very son of God who worked,” Fr. Penna said. “(Jesus) was not a guru who sat in quiet and did nothing, nor was he a master teacher who worked at an academic institution, nor was he the head of a big institution that took care of people. He was a labourer. And as a labourer he gave to work a great sense of dignity.”

Recalling his own childhood spending summers with his grandparents, Fr. Penna said he learned the dignity of work as a child with his friends when they wanted to help the adults with tasks building homes rather than play. 

“There is something created that is realized when you build something,” he said. “The dignity of work comes from people being able to express who they are in making things.”

“No matter what we do is charged with the dignity of being the children of God who are able to bring forth into the world a taste of Jesus,” Fr. Penna added. “That’s what Christian work is all about. The monks knew it. Jesus knew it. We know it. Every time we do something — answer a phone call, sit at a meeting, mop the floor…. What we are doing with our hands and the work of our hands is making a piece of Jesus alive in the world.”

The talk can be viewed above.

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