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 October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Living Faith

We Need Courageous Bishops: Ignatius of Antioch is a Model Watch

Image of Ignatius of Antioch - I know what is to my advantage. At last I am becoming his disciple. May nothing entice me till I happily make my way to Jesus Christ! Fire, cross, struggles with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs-let them come to me, provided only I make my way to Jesus Christ. I would rather die and come to Jesus Christ than be king over the entire earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I love who rose again because of us.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We need Bishops like Ignatius in this new missionary age of the Church. There is a literal assault on marriage and the family in much of the West. Yet, what the Church has to offer on the truth about marriage and the family paves the path to a future of true ... continue reading


Need a chapel? Pope Francis to rent Sistine Chapel for charity Watch

Image of Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity. The decision marks the first time that the chapel has ever been rented out for charity. It will be used for a private concert hosted by Porsche. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Vatican has announced ... continue reading


On World Food Day, a reminder of Pope Francis' mission for the Church Watch

Image of It's time to ensure that everybody has enough.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today is World Food Day and we are all called to do what we can to feed others. This year's World Food Day falls during Pope Francis' 'Week of Action' where all Catholics are called to pray and act to feed the world's hungry. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Today, ... continue reading


Pope Francis: The only thing that counts for Jesus is 'faith working through love' Watch

Image of Pope Francis related former Jesuit leader Father Arrupe's lesson in humility in his recent talk.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis reiterated in his morning homily that faith is not about appearances and superficially following Church laws. The Pontiff said that God wants to see a faith that inspires action and is "working in charity" and making sacrifices for others. LOS ... continue reading


A Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: My Heart to Gods Heart Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, O burning furnace of divine Love, you are the symbol and summary of the whole mystery of our Redemption.  O mystery of mysteries, an infinite Love which no vessel can contain emptied itself into a finite human vessel of love-and so became ... continue reading


The next big thing for the Catholic Church is underway -- but you might not have heard about it... Watch

Image of The Church is closing on its goal to eradicate world hunger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Raise a voice for the hungry," Pope Francis tweeted in support of his 'Week of Action' to fight world hunger. From October 12-18, the 'Week of Action' is intended to bring awareness to Catholics about world hunger and to motivate them to actually do something about ... continue reading


Archbishop explains why Church will never condone homosexual behavior and that the West is pushing a gay agenda Watch

Image of Archbishop Zbigevs Stankevis.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Homosexual relationships destroy "the identity of the man and the identity of the woman," according to a Catholic Archbishop attending the Vatican's Synod of the Bishops. Archbishop Zbigevs Stankevis, has accused the U.S. and other countries of trying to promote a ... continue reading


Pope Francis says that if law 'doesn't get us closer to Jesus Christ, it is dead' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In what appears to be a rebuke to legalism within the church, Pope Francis declared in his morning homily that if laws do not lead people to Christ then they are obsolete. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The scholars of the law in Jesus's day, Pope Francis ... continue reading


Monday, October 13 - Homily: Columbus Day Watch

Image of Today we celebrate the Mass for Evangelization of Peoples. Are you doing your part to bring the one, true Faith to all peoples?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today we celebrate the Mass for Evangelization of Peoples. Are you doing your part to bring the one, true Faith to all peoples? continue reading


Learning the Christian Way of Active Prayer and Prayerful Action Watch

Image of The Lord invites us to ask, knock, seek and persist in prayer. Prayer is a path to a new way of living in continual communion with God. That leads to fruitful and effective action. The way of active prayer and prayerful action is the Christian Way.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Too many people draw a separation between prayer and action which can fail to understand the integrated Christian Way of Life. The two should not be separated. The two cannot be separated. St. Luke's account of the teaching of the Lord on the call to active ... 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, Ephesians 2:1-10
1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:13-21
13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2014 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic 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