In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus tells us “No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the other with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money”. This might remind us of the First Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength”.
We know that it is important to know the purpose of what are doing. Behind that there is a purpose in what we are for, what life is for. The old “penny catechism”, in answer to the question: “Why did God make you?” answered: “God me to know Him, love Him, and serve Him in this life, and be happy with Him forever in the next”.
We might ask ourselves who or what we really serve. Do we serve God or money, or indeed something else? If we serve someone we are attentive their wishes. We make ourselves available to being in the right place at the right time. To serve God we must worship him, being available to go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, and also making time for private prayer in the morning and evening. We must remember God during the day in the ways in which we discern he wants us to. We also remember Our Lord telling us that we meet him particularly in the poor and the needy.
Do we attempt to discern God’s will for our life in the longer term, including our course of studies, our choice of career, vocation to the priesthood or religious life or marriage? We make priorities on the basis of what we consider to be most necessary. Behind all this we seek to be happy. The more we attempt to make happiness with God the true aim of our life the more we are likely find the happiness we really seek.
We are sometimes tempted to make work a priority, because we believe it is essential for physical survival. Work is certainly very important but it must serve our true purpose and not become an end in itself. The same goes for money – and even, for instance, for a leisure activity. Leisure is important but it cannot give us the real fulfillment we seek if it takes over our schedule or gets in the way of loving and serving God, for instance by preventing us for going to Mass on a Sunday.
We all need to examine our conscience regularly as to whether, and how far, we really allow God to be at the centre of our lives and thus let him be the happiness we truly seek.
Yours in Christ