Sunday, October 22, 2006

Perfected in service

This weekend we took down two very tall trees on our property in preparation for constructing an addition to our home. It was hard work for all. But there was something very fulfilling in the commitment to seeing the job through to completion and the fun tonight of having the first campfire to begin burning the brush and branches. I'll smell like smoke all week long.

At Mass on Sunday we heard how Jesus calls us all to service to others.... Those who want to be great are to be servants of all. The word in Greek is really "slave," but that sounds so awkward in our ears. However, there is a part of that concept which I think is very meaningful for me. The fact is, we Christians are called to be people for others. Following our Lord's example we think of others' needs and design our lives around fulfilling them.

Mother Teresa had it right.

We all want nothing other than to be happy and at peace. We were created for that, and we can only find happiness and peace by loving God. Loving him brings us joy and happiness.

Many, especially in the West, think that living comfortably makes a person happy. I think it is more difficult to be happy when one is rich, because the concerns about earning money and keeping it hide God from us. However, if God has entrusted you with wealth, use it to serve his works: help others, help the poor, create jobs, give work to others. Don’t waste your fortune on vain things. Having a house, honors, freedom, good health, all that has been entrusted to us by God so that we can use it to serve those who are less fortunate than we are.

Jesus said: “As often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.” (Mt 25:40) Consequently, the only thing that can make me sad is to offend our Lord through selfishness or through lack of love for others, or to wrong someone. By wounding the poor, by wounding one another, we wound God. It belongs to God to give and to take back (Job 1:21); so share what you have received, including your own life."

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