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In today’s Epistle we read: “Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men” (Ephesians 6: 5-7).
Although the Apostle is speaking to slaves in particular, the principle applies to all of us. Our jobs, occupations, vocations, all of them need to be looked at in a different light, with different eyes. If we look at our jobs as being a drudgery, or a waste of time, or a crucible of unhappiness, then we aren’t looking at them correctly. Our jobs are our monastery, our cell, our cave, our martyrdom, our...yes, crucible. What is a crucible? A crucible is a dense, cup-like ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be melted down in order to produce something new. That is why God allows us to to have some of these jobs, for our correction and spiritual growth. St Paul, in another place, wrote this: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).
St. Paul is very wise. He instructs his spiritual children to be content with their lot, but even more than that, he tells them to “do everything to the glory of God” including their jobs (See 1 Corinthians 10:31). In another place he writes, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). This new way of looking at things turns our work into a sacrament, rather than a scourge. It is our chance for disciple and the acquisition of virtues, rather than a chamber of tortures. If our job is our chance to be closer to Christ, isn’t it worth a little pain and suffering? Now, we all know that there are some jobs which turn out to be positively demonic. No one should have to endure physical or psychological abuse in the workplace. I’m not talking about that. And some jobs just aren’t a good fit. It’s not a sin to look for a new one. But while we are there, that’s where God wants us to be for that moment. Make it an opportunity to gain grace, to shine some light, and to please God.


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