Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

July 20, 2015

A Lesson on Work

As your students ponder vocation choices, this lesson helps them realize that work is part of any life vocation.

Objectives

In this lesson the students will:

  • understand that work is part of any life vocation;
  • all work comes from God and can give praise to God;
  • know that work is not only a right but also an obligation.

Process

  1. Pray the words from Sirach 51:30: “Work at your tasks in due season, and in in his own time God will give you your reward.”
  2. Make this point: “Work comes from God. The greatest work—the work of Redemption—is done by Jesus. All work, when done in connection with the work of the Lord, can give praise to God.
  3. Write the following passages on the board. Have the students write a brief summary of each passage in a journal, telling what each has to do with work.

Psalm 127 (God needs to be a partner in the work we do.)

Matthew 4:18-22 (Jesus calls co-workers.)

Matthew 4:23-24 (Jesus works at teaching, preaching, and healing.)

John 21:1-14 (The Risen Jesus prepares breakfast.)

Acts 18: 1-11 (St. Paul works as a tentmaker to support his ministry.)

  1. Write three jobs on the board (e.g., road construction worker, insurance salesperson, doctor). Call on students to explain how each is valuable in relation to the work of Redemption. Repeat with three other jobs.
  2. Point out the duty of work, especially related to the results of Original Sin. Refer the students to Genesis 3:17-18 for reference.
  3. Share the following quotation from the USCCB document, Economic Justice for All:

All work has a threefold moral significance. First, it is a principle way that people exercise the distinctive human capacity for self-expression and self-realization. Second, it is the ordinary way for human beings to fulfill their material needs. Finally, work enables people to contribute to the well-being of the larger community. Work is not only for one’s self. It is for one’s family, for the nation, and indeed for the benefit of the entire human family [52].

Conclusion

  • Ask the students to write their responses to each of the following questions: 1) What do you count as the blessing of work? 2) How would you defend the statement: “no work is better than any other”? 3) What are three steps you are taking now in your life to prepare for a lifetime of work?

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