What You Do Truly Does Matter

28 May

“Never stop doing little things for others.  Sometimes, those little things occupy the biggest part of their heart.”  ~ Unknown

Too much of the world has adopted a what’s-in-it-for-me mentality.  People seem loathe to do for others unless there is some reward involved.  “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” is the motto by which many live.  It is hard to break people from this habit which is often formed at a very young age.

Yesterday was one of those days whereby we had the opportunity to focus upon a group of people — those in the armed forces — who gave their lives for the sake of others.  They did not go to war to see what was in it for them.  They went to war and other conflicts so that they could have the opportunity to insure peace and tranquility for us.  Thank God they were not of the what’s-in-it-for-me way of thinking!  If they were, they would not have gone and we might well be living in an entirely different kind of society.

Christians are called to serve others.  We are called to do so without regard: without regard for recognition, remuneration, or reward.  We are called to be selfless, not selfish.  We are called to emulate the virtues exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ.  If we do that, we can call ourselves Christian.  If we do not do that, we make liars of ourselves.

Jesus holds us to a certain standard and a certain code of conduct.  Jesus wants us to look out for the needs of others before our own.  Jesus wants us to be willing to lay down our lives for others if need be.  Jesus wants us to love freely and unconditionally.

Some might say that Jesus expects too much of us.  After all, they say, we are not Him.  You want to check again?  Look in the mirror.  Do you see Jesus?  Look again.  Look deeper.  Look harder.  Our soul is made in the very image and likeness of God.  Jesus does not expect too much of us.  He wants what He, Himself, would do.  Since He dwells deep within each and every one of us, it is not too much to ask us to love and serve freely and without condition.

St. Teresa of Avila reminds us that Christ has no body now on earth but ours; no hands but ours; no feet but ours. Ours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. Ours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good. Ours are the hands with which He is to bless His people.  When we give ourselves to Him, He will use us to continue His mission on earth.

I hope our eighth grade students remember that throughout their lives.  This evening, they will gather for a special Commencement Mass.  As they look toward their future, I pray that they remember that they are always called to serve others.

As they look to their future, I look more toward my past.  Today is the forty-first anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood.  I thank God for the opportunity to be his hands and feet, arms and voice, in a world that so desperately needs to hear about the love of God for all people.

FAITH ACTION:  Without regard for recognition or reward, do for others today and trust that God will use your actions to touch their hearts.