Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

5/13/2012 (2 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 (2 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Living Faith

Andrew M. Greenwell: St. Bonaventure and the Fear of the Lord Watch

Image of You want God's mercy?  Here is St. Bonaventure's advice: avoid sin and develop a healthy fear of the Lord.- Andrew Greenwell

By Andrew M. Greenwell

The Church teaches that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given us as part of sanctifying or habitual grace.  If we are in a state of grace, these gifts are present.  The gifts of the Holy Spirit are similar to supernaturally-infused virtues in that they ... continue reading


Mustard Seed Faith and Living as a Christian in the Real World Watch

Image of The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches. The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened. (Matt. 13: 31 - 33)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

All the images Jesus uses in these parables concern the spreading of the kingdom or reign of God. They are meant to bring home the new reality that comes when we choose to live our call to discipleship and truly begin to cooperate with grace in our daily lives. ... continue reading


VATICAN HELPS THE HOMELESS, plans to provide free showers, haircuts and shaves near St. Peter's Square Watch

Image of Rome's homeless can receive free haircuts, shaves and showers beginning February 16.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican will begin providing homeless people in Rome a place to not only shower, but to also receive haircuts and shaves starting next month, according to Pope Francis' charity office. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - St Peter's Square will open with the ... continue reading


The forgotten plight of Native Americans

Image of

By Tony Magliano

When it comes to the harsh difficulties many Native Americans face every day, the saying "out of sight, out mind" hits home. Many people have only a vague sense of the serious past and present injustices suffered by Native Americans.From the very beginning, starting ... continue reading


Play with your children, Pope Francis commands fathers Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While some of his comments have provoked controversy, Pope Francis in a private audience this week said something that very few people would argue with. The Pope commanded that all fathers take time to play with their children - and not be so absorbed with work ... continue reading


Archbishop reprimands Catholic lawmaker, says no true Catholic can dissent from church teaching on abortion Watch

Image of Archbishop Cordileone said in a written statement, that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in a press conference on January 22 at the Capitol, was asked twice whether an unborn child 20 weeks into pregnancy is a human being. Pelosi finally replied that a woman has "the right" to abort her child. Archbishop ... continue reading


Religious persecution uniting Christians worldwide in 'Ecumenism of blood,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"In this moment of prayer for unity, I would also like to remember our martyrs, the martyrs of today," Pope Francis said as he was speaking to members of a number of Christian Churches. Gathered in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls this past weekend, ... continue reading


Andrew M. Greenwell: Jesus is the Heart and the Marvel of the Gospel Watch

Image of Since the incarnation of the Word, the

By Andrew M. Greenwell

If pursued, and pursued rightly (that is, without moral or intellectual prejudice), metaphysics leads us to a threshold, a threshold we might call the limina fidei, the threshold of faith.  Reason takes us to a place where we know God--that He is.  But ... continue reading


Who Are My Mother and Brothers? We are the Family of Jesus Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Through our Baptism, we are invited into the very family of God. When we choose to respond to grace and live in obedience to the will and the Word of God; we enter into an eternal relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We actually become a part of ... continue reading


St Francis DeSales Challenges Us to Live a Life of True Devotion Watch

Image of Today in our Liturgical calendar in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, we remember St Francis DeSales (1567-1610). The Saints are all given as examples to emulate. They are our companions on the journey, men and women like us who responded to God's invitation to become like Jesus. They pray for us because we are joined with them in the eternal communion of love. They also put legs on the Gospel, showing us what holiness looks like.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I say that devotion must be practiced in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by the married woman. But even this distinction is not sufficient; for the practice of ... 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, Hebrews 10:32-39
32 Remember the great challenge of the sufferings ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40
3 Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:26-34
26 He also said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 30th, 2015 Image

St. Aldegunais
January 30: Virgin and abess, also known as Adelgundis, Aldegonde, or ... 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