Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds

6/17/2013 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Jesus invites us to "super-size" our love. He does not want us to be satisfied with the minimum, but to seek the maximum, both in our capacity to give and our ability to receive

Article Highlights

By Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/17/2013 (10 months ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: Year of Faith, daily homily, Gospel of St. Matthew, Sermon on the Mount, Rich Young Man, love, super-size, Catholic homily, whole heart, Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds, St. Theresa Sugar Land, Tx.


SUGAR LAND, TX (Catholic online) - As a parish priest, I am asked a lot of unusual questions.  Among them is one that I haven't heard in some time, but which priests occasionally encounter.  "How late can I be to Mass and still have it count?"

Whenever I have been asked that question, I try to give the person the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they are caring for a sick relative, and they have a limited window of availability for assisting at Mass. Perhaps they are worried, because despite their best efforts, they were late for Mass or had to leave early for a serious reason.  They may have some other good reason as well.

Sometimes, however, I wonder if that question is not indicative of a perennial human tendency - the attempt to "manage" responsibility, so that it is reduced to the smallest possible level of obligation.

Jesus is well aware of our proclivities in this area, and so he challenges us to expand our horizons.  "Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow" (Matthew 5:41-42).  

The Gospel of today's Mass is a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount, which began with the preaching of the Beatitudes.  There is a common thread that runs throughout this long discourse:  be more; do more.  It is not enough to fulfill the minimum requirements of The Law.  Aim for the maximum. 

Jesus invites us to an expansiveness of spirit, so that we transcend a nominal vision of Christian discipleship, and opt for an all-encompassing commitment to following Christ.  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27; emphasis added).  The operative word here is "all."

To give Jesus less than everything, is to risk living an incomplete, superficial Christianity that looks healthy on the outside, but which is not fully integrated into one's life.  "God has no use for divided hearts.  I give mine whole and not in parts" (St. Josemarķa Escrivį, The Way, no. 145). 

In short, Jesus invites us to "super-size" our love. He does not want us to be satisfied with the minimum, but to seek the maximum, both in our capacity to give and our ability to receive.  Remember Jesus' encounter with the rich young man (Matthew 19:16-30).  He is seeking eternal life, and comes to Jesus for help.

The Lord instructs him to obey the commandments, which this young man claims he has done.  Yet, he is still restless.  He knows that there is more to the life of faith than just the minimal fulfillment of The Law, as important a first step as that is.  "What do I still lack?" he asks (Matthew 19:20). 

"Jesus said to him, 'If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me'" (Matthew 19:21).

Jesus invites this young man to "super-size" his faith.  The Gospel tells us that he chooses not to, and so becomes sad.  We're not surprised.  Whenever we turn away for God, whenever we fail to give ourselves completely to him, we travel down the path of sadness and despondency.

The recipe for true happiness always begins with a willingness to give ourselves more and more completely to the will of God.  What holds us back? Perhaps too much comfort with the current shape of our lives.  Perhaps fear of the unknown and anxiety over the future.  Perhaps even a lack of generosity and a deeply ingrained selfishness.

Let's ask the Lord for his help in overcoming all of these obstacles, so that we can love him with generous and undivided hearts.

*****
Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds is the Pastor of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sugar Land, Texas. You are invited to visit them on the Web at: www.SugarLandCatholic.com.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Year of Faith

Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading


Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading


The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading


Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading


Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading


The Kingdom of God is Among You. What Did Jesus Mean? Watch

Image of The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. Indeed, we call an apostolate every activity of the Mystical Body that aims to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth. (CCC#863)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom has been inaugurated. Upon his return it will be made complete and fully manifested in a new heaven and a new earth. We are members of the Body of Christ which makes it present here and now - as seed and sign for a world which is in labor. ... continue reading


Year of Faith: Bringing the Feast of the Presentation of Mary to Life Watch

Image of The Feast of the Presentation of Mary is celebrated in both the Eastern and Western Churches. It recalls the day in the life of the Jewish girl named Mary (Maryam) when her parents, Joachim and Anne, presented her to the Lord in the temple and dedicated her life to Him.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On this Feast of the Presentation of Mary, let us make the choice to surrender ourselves to the same Lord who Joachim and Ann honored when they presented their dear daughter in the temple. Their daughter, Mary, became the Second Eve. The New Creation was born through ... continue reading


WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Our Lady's Encouragement Watch

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I got off the subway at Termini station and went up to the busy streets of Rome.  I had to walk past the place where all the prostitutes gathered.  I looked down at the street and began to pray in fear.  Suddenly I heard a feminine voice say, "Be a man!" ... continue reading


Tuesday Homily: Conversion and Perseverance in the Life of Faith Watch

Image of Zacchaeus climbs a tree to see the Lord. Such an act could have led to great mockery for a middle-aged public figure. But Zacchaeus didn't care about others' seeing him and the derision that might ensue. He wanted to see the Lord and no obstacle was going to stop him. His example challenges each of us to consider what is the extent to which we go, what trees or obstacles we'll climb, in order to see Jesus more clearly

By Fr. Roger J. Landry

As the Year of Faith draws to a conclusion, we, like Zacchaeus, are called to repent all those times that we haven't set an example of faith for others. And through the intercession of the martyrs Eleazar and Polycarp, we ask God for the grace to set such an example of ... continue reading


We Are all Going to Die. The Important Question is How Are We Living? Watch

Image of We decide whether we use time for bearing good fruit or are used by time as a tyrant who frightens us as we fruitlessly try to resist his claim on our perceived youth. This act of choosing rightly helps us to develop a disposition; a way of living that involves the proper exercise of our human freedom aided by grace. When time is welcomed as an opportunity for bearing the fruits of love and holiness, we receive it in love, perceive it as a field of choice and build an environment for holiness

By Deacon Keith Fournier

As we consider the timeline of God's unfolding plan, the redemption of the whole cosmos, the God who gives and governs time, invites us to re-dedicate ourselves to living differently, in time.  We are to live as though time really does matter. We are invited by ... continue reading


All Year of Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter