Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

5/13/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Will a Catholic priest, enamored of his priestly calling, not be filled with a profound joy as he gives himself untiringly to his parish family?

Despite the many challenges and sufferings of daily existence, a life of selfless love energizes the true Christian in such way that they are able to soar above every challenge.  Anyone who wants to live true Christianity is called to live selflessly.  Does a true mother complain when she must waken in the middle of the night to care for her sick child?

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/13/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Sunday homily, Easter, Father James Farfaglia, Christian hope, Easter joy, peace, love, gift, conviction, apostolate, holiness, Vatican II, Second Vatican Council, Pope Benedict, Pope John Paul II, Mother's Day, Love, Charity


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - Many years ago in Dublin, Ireland, two women were spending the afternoon together shopping at their favorite clothing store.  They had grown up together in the same neighborhood and were life long friends.  As they left the store with their bundles, they began to cross a busy street in order to get to the parking lot where they had left their car. 

One of the ladies was distracted with her bundles and could not see a rapidly approaching car.  The other woman noticing the dilemma, pushed her friend forward and took the entire impact of the oncoming car.  The woman was killed instantly.

This woman was the mother of a Catholic priest.  I am sure that the woman was able to make this heroic sacrifice of her life because the pattern of her life had always been characterized by the qualities of a true mother and a true friend.  I am sure that the priest was just as able to answer the call of God to love unconditionally because his mother taught him how to do so.

"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends"  (John 15: 13).

These words from this Sunday's gospel passage synthesize the whole meaning of the Paschal Mystery:  Jesus died for us because of his unconditional love for all of us, and we are called to live this new life of unconditional love.

"This is my commandment: love one another as I love you" (John 15: 12).
   
Anyone who wants to live true Christianity is called to live selflessly.  Does a true mother complain when she must waken in the middle of the night to care for her sick child?

What father who really loves his family will complain about the daily sacrifices that he must make to support his family?

Will a Catholic priest, enamored of his priestly calling, not be filled with a profound joy as he gives himself untiringly to his parish family?

"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete" (John 15: 11).

Selfishness will prevent us from the giving of ourselves unconditionally.  If we live selfish lives, we will not experience the profound joy of Christianity.  True Christians are always laughing because they are men and women who are completely selfless.

Despite the many challenges and sufferings of daily existence, a life of selfless love energizes the true Christian in such way that they are able to soar above every challenge. 

This donation of our lives manifests itself in many concrete ways throughout the day.  Simple little acts like saying hello to someone and being of good cheer, helping out in the kitchen during meal times, assisting a needy school friend with their homework, helping an elderly neighbor with the chores, and volunteering time in the parish are just a few of the numerous ways that the true disciple of Jesus can love in a very practical manner.

True mothers and fathers will understand that parenting goes far beyond simply feeding their children and filling their day with hours of mindless television. 

True priests will always devote large amounts of time each week to preparing good Sunday homilies; to being available to meet the needs of their people; and to taking the time to visit the homebound and the sick in the hospitals. 

But if homes are abandoned because parents are more concerned about their careers than their children, and if parishes are abandoned because the spiritual fathers are more concerned about their free time and entertainment than the souls entrusted to them, then it is no wonder that so many Americans wander aimlessly about seeking affection, love, direction, purpose and companionship.

Married love and celibate love can only be understood within the dimension of total donation of self.  

Mother Teresa gave the modern world a visible example of total donation.  Everyone has been moved by her selflessness.  She would always say, "Love, until it hurts".   Here we find in her simple words the antidote for the crisis facing modern society

Daily, total giving of the self is not an easy enterprise.  The tendencies of fallen human nature pull us into ourselves.  This is why we need a daily encounter with the God of unconditional love hidden in the tabernacle of every Catholic Church. 

Whether through daily Mass or a good visit to the perpetual adoration chapel, it is Jesus who will give us all of the graces that we need to love just like He loves you and me.  "As the Father loves me, so I also love you.  Remain in my love" (John 15: 9).

During the height of the Vietnam War, an Afro-American second lieutenant led his small company on a patrol through the jungle.  As they were making their way through the dense tangle of trees and vines, he suddenly noticed that a sniper had dropped a grenade in the middle of his men. 

Without hesitation the second lieutenant pounced on the grenade and saved his company by sacrificing his own life.  Shortly after this incident, President Nixon awarded him the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously, which was presented to his mother.

Perhaps we will never be in a situation to sacrifice our lives as heroically as the sergeant did.  However, it is quite possible that he was able to make the supreme sacrifice of himself, because his entire life was made up of many heroic moments of self-giving.  This pattern thus established made it easy for him to give of himself without hesitation.  "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends". 
-----
Father James Farfaglia is the Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, TX.  Visit him on the web to learn more about his book, homilies and audio podcasts.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Living Faith

Catholics worldwide vow to get the word out on Pope Francis' message on climate change Watch

Image of Environmental advocates, working with bishops, religious orders, Catholic universities, and lay movements hope that there will be a transformative impact in the fight against global warming.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis will release his anticipated teaching document on the environment and climate change in the coming weeks. Over the past several years, more faith traditions have rallied behind environmental protection. Churches have begun to press ecological ... continue reading


The Church Needs to Be Baptized Afresh in the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of Do I still believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are available for ordinary Christians? You bet I do! I believe that Pentecost still happens. I KNOW it still happens. We can ALL know it still happens because we can experience its effects in our own lives. We should not be afraid of the Holy Spirit! In fact, we should regularly seek to be filled with more and more of the Spirit.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We need to pray for a New Pentecost for the Church in this hour! We need more of the Holy Spirit for the New Evangelization of the Church - so that a renewed Church can engage in the missionary task of the Third Christian Millennium. We need to be baptized afresh ... continue reading


Brotherhood of the Belt: Struggle, Trouble and Failure in the Christian Life Watch

Image of The Martyrdom of Peter

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Peter's wrong choices were not the end of the story of Gods plan for his life. Peter's denial crippled Peter emotionally and spiritually. He lost his way. That was until he encountered the Risen Christ. There, in that encounter, he allowed the belt of ... continue reading


The Purpose of Pentecost is the Birth and Ongoing Mission of the Church

Image of The purpose of Pentecost is the birth - and continued rebirth - of the Church.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Church was empowered by the Holy Spirit to live differently in the midst of a world awaiting the fullness of redemption, to live as a new people to lead the world back to the Father, in and through the Son. Through their experience of the Holy Spirit the early ... continue reading


Top 5 Roman Catholic colleges in the United States Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What constitutes being the best university is oftentimes subjective and usually in adherence to one's beliefs and practices. Choosing a college is one of the biggest decisions many people are making. Some opt for those that offer the best training in the fields of ... continue reading


Don't take your children 'hostage,' Pope tells separated couples Watch

Image of Christian communities, Pope Francis says

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In discussing the role of parents educating their children, Pope Francis in his General Audience, advised separated couples to "never, never, never take the children hostage!" LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pope spoke on the role of parents in the ... continue reading


A Baltimorean's reflections on the Baltimore riots

Image of

By Tony Magliano

"The God of peace is never glorified by human violence," wrote the famous Trappist monk Thomas Merton. Whether it's on an individual, city, national, or international level, violence always dishonors God, and makes bad situations worse. The recent Baltimore City riots ... continue reading


8 encouraging Bible verses to lift you up Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sometimes getting up in the morning can be the hardest thing you'll do all day. When life's worries press down on you and take your soul hostage, the most important thing you can do for yourself is turn to God. He will always be there for you, through the good times ... continue reading


Pope Francis tells bishops to act more like pastors - and not 'pilots' Watch

Image of The meeting between bishops will last until May 21. At that time, bishops will discuss how their faithful have received Pope Francis's apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, and look at ways to implement its teaching.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Addressing bishops in Italy, Pope Francis told them to act more like pastors than "pilots" telling the faithful what to do. The pontiff said that bishops need "Ecclesial sensitivity." They should remain bold in denouncing cultural trends that offend human ... continue reading


Five-year-old boy brings people to tears with heartfelt act of kindness Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During his meal at a Waffle House restaurant, 5-year-old Josiah Duncan's attention wandered to the man outside the establishment. The man, dirty and holding a plastic bag, became the center of the young boy's curiosity and concern. After learning from her mother that ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 35:1-12
1 One who keeps the Law multiplies offerings; one who ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 50:5-6, 7-8, 14, 23
5 'Gather to me my faithful, who sealed my covenant ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:28-31
28 Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 26th, 2015 Image

St. Philip Neri
May 26: If one had to choose one saint who showed the humorous side of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter