With the U.S. jobless rate continuing to hover near the 10% mark, many Catholics are praying not just for work in their days but also meaning in their lives.
That’s one way to say that a wait in the unemployment line can be as much a blessing as a challenge. Few other chances to trust God in the face of intimidating uncertainty offer such expedient opportunities to grow in grace.
I was reminded of this as I read Elisabeth Deffner’s page-one report on parish-based programs to put the unemployed back to work. Read it and you’ll meet the leaders of three such ministries who understand that, while it’s often urgent that laid-off workers find new jobs, it’s always and everywhere critical that they call on the Lord.
Unemployment, pastoral administrator Chris Sumptor points out, “can be a spiritual journey. It’s a tremendous opportunity to just be grace-filled and show the better part of who you are.”
Echoing Pope John Paul’s exhortation that “work is made for man and not man for work,” Sumptor concludes: “You are not what you do.”
If this note finds you standing among the millions of Americans now looking for work, be sure of my prayers on your behalf — for a fulfilling new job and a closer walk with our Lord Jesus Christ.