31st Week in Ordinary Time – Monday: Is it for us or is it for God?

It’s easy even in the midst of a genuine life of faith, one given in service to be compelled to start doing for others to serve our own needs, if even it’s the need to be needed. Our Gospel today is a reminder that all of us need to really reflect and reflect again each and every day to assess just what is motivating our actions.  When men come to discuss their own calling with me, what makes a calling blessed, and the thread I listen for is the call to service.  If a vocation is not founded and doesn’t develop a spirit or desire of service; of genuine service it might be something else, but it’s not God’s vocational calling for you.  To love God so greatly that we desire to do His will is of course the essence of our calling, but if it’s authentic, God reveals Himself and compels us to serve.  We know at a critical time; Jesus serves by washing the feet.  In fact, Jesus’ whole life was about service.  But amid the great joy of discovering and living out our vocation, in our own spiritual lives, we can sometimes find ourselves with the wrong motivations in our actions no matter how well we are progressing in the spiritual life.  We all long for love, and sometimes we are motivated to do for others for the love and affection we will get in return.  Unfortunately, that’s the temptation we must resist because it skews true service, and it isn’t the true living out of our vocation.  Friends, this is not a Gospel that should leave us feeling dejected or without hope.  If we reflect and try our best to always have the right motivation in mind, to serve the glory of God and love of our brothers and sisters, we can be assured that our lives will be better and more joy-filled and we will bask in the love of God, which is the greatest love we can be given.  We will recognize that love if we give ourselves to Him.  Especially as a diocesan priest, I think of the greater glory of reaching out to those whom I haven’t reached and it gives me the joyful mission and motivation for the day!  I think of a hero of mine; St. Francis of Assisi who in prayer heard the Lord say “rebuild my church”.  These words are recorded not as some kind of legacy for St. Francis – they are there for you and I.  We are the ones!  We are the ones who through our vocations are rebuilding the church today and into the future.  May God bless you.

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