The causes of poverty are complex, but a major one is unemployment.
Which of us has not been touched by the loss of a job? Many of you reading this may have lost your job. If not you, then perhaps it is a son or daughter, a spouse or a friend who now finds themselves unemployed. Losing one’s job is devastating. It is a diminishing psychological experience. So many of us, especially men, find that the loss of a job is somehow the loss of our identity.
In the words of Pope Benedict XVI “being out of work or dependent on private or public assistance for a prolonged period undermines the freedom and creativity of the person and…causes great psychological and spiritual suffering” (Caritas in Veritate #25).
Work is a blessing. It is part of God’s creative plan: “God then took the man and settled him in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it (Genesis 2:15). It is sharing in the creative work of God.
How do we as Catholic Christians address the problem of unemployment? As individuals we must reach out to our sisters and brothers to the extent of our ability based on our resources and their need. Support, presence and encouragement are very important. Offering to care for children to free a person to seek new employment or enhance their work skills would be of great assistance.
Employers, the best thing that you can do is to create jobs, but in the present economy it is equally important to save jobs. Spread the work out among employees cutting down in the hours of some to save the jobs of others.
Parishes or non-parish-based organizations should provide opportunities for networking through breakfasts or evening meetings or offer seminars on resume writing or other job seeking skills.
We are all called as followers of Jesus to work for a more just society and economy. We must continue to press our leaders to put their country first and work to create jobs through economic growth and fiscal responsibility
This post is also available in/Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish