Did you notice as the Gospel was read today that the word ‘life’ appeared four times? That number struck me as I was preparing for today’s Mass. Four times! Why four times? It doesn’t have a different meaning each time. The point is that we can use our lives differently.
We can lose our life for Jesus and find a better life by denying ourselves, taking up our crosses and following Him.
Or we can use our life to gain material possessions and end up losing it.
We can deny ourselves as He says in this Gospel; empty ourselves of selfish desires and attachment to material possessions. We can give cheerfully, without expecting anything in return.
Jesus didn’t say following Him would be easy. But He did promise to help us deal with our challenges. This may mean emptying ourselves to serve Him with our whole heart may be difficult at times.
When we empty ourselves to serve Him with our whole heart, we will find a new life with new meaning in our relationship with Him and with others.
In the past few months, I lost several relatives and friends who had made my life meaningful and given it purpose. I would have liked to spend just one more day with each of them before they went home to the Lord. However, I was privileged as a priest to give the last sacraments to some of them, a privilege which gives special meaning to the life of a priest.
In my current life at Holy Cross Family Ministries, I focus on ministry to families - families who find meaning in their relationships with each other and encourage them to include God in their family life together.
So, friends, today Jesus is calling us to empty ourselves and find a new life in Him. For a life well-lived, is a life lived for God and others. Let’s begin today within our own families!
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About Father Pinto Paul, C.S.C.
Father Pinto Paul C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1999, worked with tribal populations in northeast India as a missionary for ten years. In 2010 he came to the US for further studies. While working as a campus minister at Stonehill College, he assisted pastors in local parishes, led seminars and workshops for teachers and students in the US and earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Boston College and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Lesley University, Cambridge. He is currently working as the International Director of the Boston-based Holy Cross Family Ministries with missions in 17 countries.