August 18, 2013: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: The Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
Through work, we continually participate in upholding life in God’s creation. By supporting a living wage and safe working conditions, economic justice aligns with the common good in respecting workers’ dignity by providing the necessities of life. https://cst74life.wordpress.com/
“By work and industriousness, man who has a share in the divine art and wisdom-makes creation, the cosmos already ordered by the Father, more beautiful. He summons the social and community energies that increase the common good.” Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 266
First Reading: Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10
Psalm: 40:2, 3, 4, 18
Second Reading: Hebrews 12:1-4
Gospel: Luke 12:49-53
Catechism of the Catholic Church
“Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good…” (1808) From Introduction to the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C, Daily Roman Missal
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A Face of California
Agriculture is a $22 billion dollar industry in California. Thirty six percent of the nation’s three million farm workers are the backbone of the industry. They help California provide, nationally and globally, a diverse supply of vegetables, fruits and nuts. Forty six percent work with tree crops, like citrus, summer fruit and nuts, while 40 percent support planting and harvesting of vegetables. Ninety five percent are non US born, 57 percent have no documentation and 42 percent are migrant workers that travel around the state as crops rotate by season. Only 20 percent have year round work. Forty three percent of individuals and 30 percent of the families earn less than $10,000 annually. Yet only 30 percent make use of needs based services, 37 percent collect unemployment and only one percent collect Social Security or disability. Their average age is 36, with a six grade education and they have been a farm worker for 11 years. Fifty four percent are parents. With intense physical labor, many days in summer heat for ten to twelve hours per day, they suffer injuries. Twenty four percent report musculoskeletal problems, but only 30 percent have health insurance. Workers have even died in the intense Central Valley summer heat, due to reported lack of water, shady rest areas or being denied breaks. Many workers face repeated exposure to herbicides and pesticides, leading to respiratory, skin and neurological health conditions, along with birth defects in children they conceive. Complaints against unsafe working conditions can be met with dismissal, as the largely undocumented work force, where 53 percent cannot speak English and 57 percent cannot read English, lack a voice for workplace justice. Farm workers provide life in the food they harvest, for tables in California and beyond, while they personally struggle physically, economically and socially.
Blogs to Visit:
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born August 3, 2013 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concerns.