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What motivates you in life?

A teenage boy lost a contact lens while playing basketball in his driveway. After a fruitless search, he told his mother that the lens was nowhere to be found. Undaunted, she went outside and, in a few minutes, returned with the lens in her hand. “I really look hard for that, Mom,” said the youth. “How did you manage to find it?” “We weren’t looking for the same thing,” she replied. “You were looking for a small piece of plastic. I was looking for $150!”

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus, at the Last Supper, tells his disciples: “Remain in me, as I remain in you…Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” What motivates every great saint in our Catholic Faith is the presence of Christ within us. St. Paul says, “I live now, not I, but Christ lives in me.” Because of this, he became the great Apostle to the Gentiles. The Faith of billions of people (including our own) over more than 2000 years is due to his ceaseless and courageous preaching of the Good News. He did so, not for his own glory, but to please the God within him.

St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) spent her life doing missionary work in caring for the poor. Why? Because she wanted to do something beautiful for God. What is true for St. Paul and Mother Teresa is the same for all the saints and for us. Our lives are truly worthwhile to the extent that, out of love for God and neighbor, we seek to speak the words we have heard Jesus speak and to humbly put ourselves at the service of others just like Jesus Himself.

Thus it is that St. John says in the 2nd Reading: “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth….and love one another just as He commanded us.” St. Stephen, the first martyr did this by imitating Jesus and forgiving those who were stoning him to death.

Is there anyone you or I have failed to forgive out of anger or a desire for revenge?

In the 1st Reading, St. Barnabas spoke up for St. Paul when others in the community were afraid of him and, no doubt, kept far away.

Am I willing to stand up for others rejected by others and give them a chance to be welcomed into the circle of my family, friends, or co-workers?

If, like these saints, we wish to do something wonderful with God, then, like them, we must constantly allow Christ to be the center of our lives. The principal way we can do so is to remember how Jesus always made God the Father the center of His life. How did He do so? First and foremost, Jesus prayed. It is always amazing to read how much Jesus prayed Himself. Countless times the apostles or others were looking for Jesus and could not find Him.

Where was He?

He was in prayer—on the mountain, in the hills, at the lakeside, in the desert as well as at the synagogue ‘as was His custom.’

Not only did Jesus pray in these places, but most likely in the place He counseled us to pray—in His inner room. Perhaps it was in His inner room that Jesus was able to formulate the prayer that He taught His disciples and us—the “Our Father”. Some have called this the perfect prayer. For. it contains the elements of a complete prayer—adoration, contrition, and supplication. By praying the “Our Father” devotedly morning, noon, and night, we can become more intimate with God as it leads us to know Him. to love Him, and to serve Him, with all our heart. With that comes the motivation and strength we need to do—just like all the saints— all that God want us to do with our lives. Pleasing God in this way will enable us to find what is most valuable of all—union with God now and forever in heaven.

Father Kirlin