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Lord of All Labor

Blacksmiths at work in the Philippines

Alfredo Tabada Sr. (left) and Henry Petellana hammer steel to form a blade. Alfredo and his son, Fred, are among a handful of blacksmiths working with Catholic Relief Services to produce tools for purchase by coconut farmers affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl for CRS.

Jesus the Carpenter,

As you, the laborer,
Built first with wood, and then with spirit,
Transform all our work
So that we may see our labor come alive
In the building of the Kingdom.

Let us arise to hear the call of the One
Who has willed us to be fishers of men,
Workers in the vineyard,
Laborers in the field.

For, through the love of your Father,
We have become partners in creation,
Transforming the world.
And so may our livelihoods be transformed—
Not to be a daily burden,
An assault on our dignity,
But a vehicle for your grace,
An expression of your gifts,
Your Spirit at work in the world,
Transforming all it touches,
Through the loving heart of the Creator,
Through the hands of his creatures.

Lord Jesus, be with all laborers everywhere.
Affirm the dignity of our work,
The meaning of our toil,
The grace to our vocations,
As you were with Peter the Fisherman,
Paul the Tentmaker,
Francis the Churchbuilder,
Patrick the Shepherd,
Isidore the Farmer,
Medical workers like Marianne Cope,
Teachers like Frances Cabrini.
Throughout history, tinkers, smiths and servants,
Builders, bakers and artisans
Have stood beside kings and nobility
As the greatest of your servants.

And so, we lift up all who are unable to find work
And those whose work does not sustain them.
Help us to embrace the work you set before us.
May the work of all our hands honor you,
So that like these saints and all your blessed servants,
We may remain with you always.


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