Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose I have come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.
Life is drudgery (cf. Job 7:1)! That’s what good old Job says in the Bible and I couldn’t agree with him more! Life is horrible, if you don’t give your life away. A Christian lives his life in a very unique and exciting way. What does it mean to live life like a Christian? Let me give you an example.
All living creatures eat, right? But only human beings put a little bit of salt and spices on their food. Only romantics dim the lights, light the candles and put some soft music on. What do the Christians do? They set the table, prepare the meal, take a few bites here and there, dim the lights, light the candles, put on some music and when everything is perfect…they leave so that others can enjoy it.
Are you a teenager that feels lost, confused and lonely? Are you an adult that is going through a mid-life crisis?
Just a few days ago I went to Ursuline Academy to celebrate a special Mass for all their sophomores. The academy is blessed with great enrollment, great kids and great teachers. Ursuline Sophomores distinguish themselves by their service towards others, and for this reason a special evening Mass, known as Serviam (Latin for “I will serve”), is celebrated once a year. This year, the Mass fell on February 2nd. This date is well known by all Ursuline grads. On February 2nd, 1874, six nuns left Galveston, Texas and moved to Dallas, Texas to begin teaching and educating young women.
These nuns were looking for trouble and found it...and made a huge difference in the lives of countless women and families.
This is going to sound a little crazy. But I think that the reason why so many of our young kids today feel lost, confused and uncertain about their lives is because they keep hearing from their parents to stop looking for trouble!
Now mom and dad, I know what you actually mean. What you are really saying is, “Don’t get in trouble!” But when parents say to their children (and to the church) “No!” to mission trips, “No!” to church charity activities and “No!” to lending a hand, then somehow or another, there message to their kids sounds more like, “Keep your hands to yourself! Stop thinking about others!”
Why do kids cut themselves? Why do kids have eating disorders? Why do kids feel bad about themselves? Why do kids worry so much about what their friends think? I really think it’s because they have time to think about these things.” I think that a good chuck of our kids problems are related to the amount of selfish time they have for themselves. They have way too much time to worry about increasing and not enough time to think about decreasing. They never have worry about who will take care of them, where their next meal will come from, if the cancer will go away or if they will have a place to stay. And what I have noticed is that, in general, simple kids don’t seem to have such complex problems!
So what can they (and we) do? What did the Lord do? He served, and kept serving it up. And when he began to feel a little too comfortable in one town or one neighborhood, what did he do? He moved. And moved again if he had to! Our Lord kept moving and kept looking for trouble(s). Our kids need to do the same thing. They need to spend more time in nursing homes, day-care centers, soup kitchens, door-to-door mission trips. They need to spend more time with disabled Americans, special needs children, cancer patients, and the elderly so that they can feel what they feel, and imagine what they live. This is what St. Paul did. “I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too many have a share in it.” (1Cor 9:22-23)
That’s it! He’s got it!
Do you feel lost, confused and uncertain about yourself? Chances are you haven’t given yourself to others! Who has time to feel this way when life is tough and hard and unfair?
What am I? Who am I? What am I supposed to do? Where am I supposed to go? Why am I here? Well, if I don’t let go of myself, then I will never find myself! That’s what Christ said and did, and I agree with him. These questions can only be answered by one: Jesus Christ. These answers can only be found when you begin to serve.
Go, and start looking for some trouble!
P.S. Don't forget today's responsorial psalm. Those who help heal the brokenhearted end up healing and strengthening their own.