"Cursed be the ground because of you! In toil shall you eat its yield all the days of your life." —Genesis 3:17
After the first sin, women began to suffer labor pains in bringing forth children (Gn 3:16). Men also began to suffer other pains of labor. To make a living, we had to sweat and suffer (Gn 3:19). Work became a curse. It was a living hell.
Only in Jesus is the curse of work removed. In Jesus, we no longer are slaves forced to work for our human needs. Instead, we are slaves of Christ (Col 3:23-24). We don't have to work for perishable food; we can work for food that lasts unto life eternal (Jn 6:27). Moreover, we don't have to work for everything we get. We can receive grace, that is, a free, unworked-for gift of God.
This life of grace is prefigured by the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. In this miracle, four thousand people got something for nothing (Mk 8:9). They didn't have to work for it. Humanity's slavery to work was superseded by grace from Jesus.
Jesus worked as a carpenter for most of His life, and then became a curse for us by hanging on the tree of the cross (Gal 3:13). Jesus has freed us from the curse of work. Therefore, instead of working in a dead-end job, work for the living, eternal Jesus.
Prayer: Father, may I not work on Sundays to show the world I am free from slavery to work.
Promise: "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd." —Mk 8:2
Praise: Karen, a state legislator, sponsored a bill to restrict abortion rights in her state. Despite intense opposition and a veto by the governor, she prayed fervently, and led the state Congress to overturn the veto. Praise the Lord for calling his people "for the victory of justice" (Is 42:6).
Reference: (For more teaching on this subject, order our pamphlet, Job Performance for Jesus.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 23, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 1998