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Labor Day: Remember the dignity of all

“This Labor Day is a somber one.  The COVID-19 pandemic goes on.  Economic circumstances for so many families are stressful or even dire.  Anxiety is high.  Millions are out of work and wondering how they will pay the bills.  And for workers deemed “essential” who continue to work outside the home, there is the heightened danger of exposure to the virus.  Yet, as Pope Francis points out in a set of beautiful and challenging reflections on the pandemic, “In this wasteland, the Lord is committed to the regeneration of beauty and rebirth of hope: ‘Behold, I am doing something new: right now it is sprouting, don’t you see it?’ (Is 43:19). God never abandons his people, he is always close to them, especially when pain becomes more present.”[1]  As God declares to John in Revelation: “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5).  God knows the challenges we face and the loss and grief we feel.  The question to us is this: will we pray for and willingly participate in God’s work healing the hurt, loss, and injustice that this pandemic has caused and exposed?  Will we offer all we can to the Lord to “make all things new?”

Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley
Archbishop of Oklahoma City
Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
September 7, 2020

To read the full version of the bishops’ 2020 Labor Day Statement visit