Tuesday, May 28, 2013

To sacrifice is to love….To sacrifice joyfully is to sacrifice with love

I must be willing to give whatever it takes to do good to others. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is no true love in me, and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.” - Mother Teresa

Gospel Text: (MK 10:28-31)
Peter began to say to Jesus,
‘We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

Today, just like that landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard, the Lord is seeking disciples, followers and friends.

We are each called through Baptism to share of our selves, our blessings, and our talents with God. I interpret this as God asking us to give our gifts to him through presenting them to our fellow brothers and sisters. Sometimes this is through little acts of service here and there, but there is always an underlying call to promote justice to get at the root cause of people’s suffering.

God calls us to promote justice in our families and communities, which is a very hard thing to do. Most of the times, when people try to promote justice, they are met by very powerful resistance. It is easy to get discouraged when people tell us, “You won’t be able to change that. It’s always been that way. You may as well just not try...”

Just as Jesus showed by example, to die for another is the greatest sacrifice, the greatest act of love, we each must discern how we are called to sacrifice of ourselves in the service of God. The closer we get to God by living a sacramental life (Eucharist and frequent Confession), the more we are willing to give of ourselves through God’s grace. Some people are called to sacrifice money and power in order to promote love and justice, others are called to sacrifice a comfortable lifestyle, and others are even called to be martyrs, like many of the saints - to die so that others may live in a more peaceful world.

Whether big or small, once we make those sacrifices, and promote that love, God promises that we will be fulfilled, and we will be more fully human than ever before.

Are we prepared to make that gamble in faith, trusting in his assurance?

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