By Frank Lesko, Coordinator of Justice and Peace

Job’s cries of pain ring so loudly in today’s first reading.  There is almost no relief from his toil and suffering.  For millions of people around the world, life is an almost endless drudgery of malnutrition, sweat shop work and cruel oppression of every kind.  People are often brutally put down when they stand up for a better life, like the Irish immigrants in “Molly Daughter.” 

The Lord answers Job in the other readings, promising healing and wholeness.  The Catholic Church teaches that our life and work have dignity.  Work is not supposed to be a senseless drudgery but rather an opportunity to live out our vocation and share our gifts.  Human beings born in the image and likeness of God are built for a life of dignity. 

The market and the media can dehumanize people. We do not know their names or see their faces.  Yet all people pray “Our Father” to same God.  This teaches us to reconsider how we treat each and every human person, since we are all sons and daughters of the same God.  The Gospels shine a light that re-humanizes.  Even the so-called “least”, even the poorest of the poor, are all of great interest to our God.

The Second Vatican Council states, “Man is the source, the center, and the purpose of all economic and social life.” (Gaudium et Spes 63).  The economy exists to serve people.  All too often, it appears the other way:  That human beings are used up and exploited to make a profit for someone else.  The rule of the market is all-too-often unquestioned, even when people are chewed up.

The Justice Theater Project is producing a powerful story about the human price of industry, in particular our reliance on coal. “Molly Daughter” will be performed February 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 8:00 PM and February 12, 19 and 26 at 2:00 PM in Fellowship Hall.   Tickets are $20 for Adults, $15 for students and senior citizens, and $12 for groups of 10 or more.  All seating is general admission. Sunday, February 12 at 2 PM is $10.00 admission day.   (919)264-7089.  www.TheJusticeTheaterProject.org