From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris For August 19, 2018

I hope you were able to spend some time reflecting on the Gospel passages I offered in last week’s bulletin. We need to take Jesus seriously when He calls for a total commitment of ourselves and our resources. Jesus didn’t go half-way; He handed Himself over to death for our sakes. God lowered Himself to take on our humanity; He lowered Himself even more by taking on our death. Jesus sets the standard for our sacrifices.

Jesus’ standard also ought to reframe how we approach money. Money is a useful tool; it enables us to do a great many things in the service of God and God’s people. Money enables us to maintain churches for the worship of God; money can be used to care for the sick, the poor, and others in need. Instead of money being about our security or freedom, money becomes an avenue to lay down our lives for others.

What this means is that the call to give ourselves totally to God doesn’t mean we have to give up everything. Caring for others means putting a roof over the heads of our children. Serving God means taking the occasional vacation so that we don’t go postal on someone. Clothing the naked and feeding the poor includes our family. Living totally for the Lord does not mean becoming a consecrated religious; it does mean this for some, but not for everyone.

In this light, it is useful to reflect on how we are using the money that has been entrusted to us. Is it being used in the context of serving God and our neighbor, including the neighbor who lives under the same roof? Is the money that has been entrusted to us being used to lead others to God and to help others live a fuller human life?

Chances are, the answers are going to fall somewhere in the realm of “Yes,” “Somewhat,” “Mostly,” or something like that. It is a universal claim that we could always do something better. Pick any area of your life, and you could always say that you could be doing better. There are undoubtedly areas where we are more concerned about ourselves, our comfort, even at the expense of others or at the expense of serving God. However, Jesus’ example and His call to lay down our lives gives us a measure by which reflect on how we could be doing better in loving God and neighbor.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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