We’re called to make the most out of our lives. This might not be something that we all want to face or think about – but it remains a reality that we must all face up to whether we like it or not. Following on my post from yesterday, even though I was acquiring lots of things and accomplishing in life, I knew I wasn’t making the most out of my life. That was perhaps what made me least satisfied with things. It had nothing really to do with my job or how much money I made or didn’t make, it was simply a sense that I was called to do more. I say that on this side of having responded to my vocation. Although it’s important for me to daily strive to do better, to learn from my mistakes, to get closer and closer to God and live a holier life – to replace my vices and sin with virtue. I know as a Catholic priest who loves God and loves His people; the people I serve – I am making the most out of life and there is a great peace and deep satisfaction which leads to joy in that.
Most of us, whether we’re Christians or not, believe in God or not are searching for the meaning and purpose in life if we are to find deep joy. Who among us does not want to have a life with meaning? Who does not want to find the direction or the purpose we are in this world for? With both we have our compass and we can better navigate our way through the life we have been given with both our many gifts and talents and the shortcomings we work to overcome. Jesus uses a parable of a fisherman bringing in everything in his net, separating the good fish from the bad fish and other things. We certainly can see this as a call to live a dedicated, integrated and full Christian life, a life given to God and for others. We can focus on the bad fish and garbage and make some kind of statement about what happens when we aren’t a “good fish”. But that gets us no where. The fires of hell and the wrath of God exist but these entities or places are not now, nor were they ever the places God wants us to be.
Instead, we must focus on being a good part of the catch ourselves and call others to do the same. God asks this of us. He doesn’t ask us to focus or pass judgment on those who choose otherwise because we can spend way too much energy on that! Our energy is better spent on helping our brothers and sisters (and ourselves) find the deep Christian meaning in our own lives; working together for the purpose Jesus calls us all to.