By Fr. Roy Cimagala
IF we truly want to be good Christians, then like Christ we should be known as good workers. Not only should we be known by our eloquent words alone, nor by our lineage, good health and looks, etc. We have to be known more by our good works.
Remember that gospel episode where Christ cured a man of his deafness? (cfr. Mk 7,31-37) The people could not contain their amazement, and even if Christ told them to keep quiet about what he did, they could not help but proclaim it to the whole world, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
Good works attract people much more than sweet words or any other consideration. That’s because good works can only confirm and validate the true value of whatever good endowments we may have, especially the graces that come from God. They actually show the kind of persons we are. They show our true colors.
To be truly good workers and to be known as such, we should not miss the chance to make our work, whatever it is as long as sit is honest work, a form of prayer also. We should regard our work as part of God’s providence over us, of God’s continuing work over us and over all his creation.
As such, our work would be pleasing to God and can serve as a way to praise and adore him, thank him for the many blessings he has given us, or to serve as atonement for our sins and the sins of others as well as proof of our faith and love for him especially when we ask for favors from him.
We should never regard our work as purely human with no connection to God’s will and ways. We should never regard our work as purely temporal and earth-bound. It has eternal dimensions and potentials. In fact, it can and should be our usual way to develop and achieve holiness.
In that perspective, work is no hindrance in our continuing relationship with God and with others, no matter how hidden, mundane and secular our work may be. It need not be a break from our life of prayer and contemplation even in the midst of our very worldly activities.
We therefore have to broaden our understanding of the true character of our ordinary daily work. Our work should not be motivated or inspired by merely human and earthly values no matter how legitimate they may be.
That’s because if not motivated by love of God and carried out as an offering to God, and because of that, also as our sign and contribution to the common good of men, it would not lead us to where we should be. We can rightfully be reproached by Christ when he said: “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” (Mk 8,36)
We obviously need to readjust our attitude toward our ordinary daily work. While it can involve dirt and grime, or the sophisticated technicalities of the arts, sciences and technologies, it is actually something sacred, a part of God’s design for us, and an effective vehicle for us to relate ourselves to God in an abiding way.
All these considerations about work should motivate us to do our work so well that we can rightly be known that as good workers we also are true lovers of God and others.