My dear Fathers, Sisters and Brothers,
Grace and Peace of Christ Jesus our Risen Lord !
While the world’s entire human resource is engaged in fighting at the COVID-19 frontlines to save lives, the May Day, also called the International Labour Day is approaching with the message that, “Work is fundamental to the dignity of the person. Work ‘anoints’ with dignity, fills us with dignity, makes us similar to God who has worked and still works, who always acts.” (Pope Francis)
The Church celebrates this day as the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. Work, this feast day teaches us, is not principally about earning wealth nor for profit alone, but about serving and loving others. When work takes on this meaning, the perfection of the human person continues, the dignity of human labour is promoted and God’s work is advanced in the world. In addition, the whole month of May is devoted to praying the holy rosary to the Blessed Virgin Mary. With this at the backdrop, we are also well aware of the paradoxical situation of the ‘human labour’ all over the world and particularly in India. Millions of workers are challenged and are thrown off by the iron arms of the notorious virus roaming on the surface of the earth. We must admit, it is the vital force of labour that adds materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known. It is appropriate, therefore, that the world pays tribute on Labour Day, as an act of solidarity, to the creators of so much of the world’s strength, security and hope, significantly at this devastating time of virus crisis. Offers made as relief or respite is “no substitute for the dignity which accrues to those who actively participate in the work of growth and strength of the society”, says Pope Francis. “I (make) a strong appeal that the dignity and safety of the worker always be protected.”
In his letter to the faithful, the Pope has asked all to mark the month of May a special time of devotion to Mary through the recital of holy rosary and special prayers to conclude with. Kindly find it attached herewith for use in every community and to instruct families of your Parish to do so. It is natural to be anxious about appointments / transfers in the month of April-May. The prevailing circumstance, no doubt, delays the process. Yet, I presume all had time enough to put your office, accounts, documents, inventory etc. up to date in a ready mode. Let us ardently pray, the current crisis subsides at the earliest, allowing us the return to normalcy.