Becoming What God Intended

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2017

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How time flies! This coming year I will have one child graduate from college, one from high school, and one starting high school. I am exhausted thinking about it. My prayer for all my children is that they take the Holy Spirit with them in all that they do and call on God to aid them in discerning their future. That is my prayer, but I know that it will not always be easy for them to follow this path. The key will be for each of them, if they choose, to be what God intended them to be, as opposed to trying to be what they want to be.

It sounds great to say to a child, “You can be anything you want to be.” But at the core of this statement is often the lie that true happiness lies in fulfilling your will for your life. I have seen many people in my life that reached their goals only to find an emptiness and longing for something more. The reality is that our ultimate fulfillment and joy is becoming the person, not that we wanted to be, but the person that God created us to be. This does not mean that we are stuck in some predestined situation. There are many ways we can live out our destiny and use fully use the gifts God gave each of us. But it does mean that we have chosen a path based on where God is leading us and informed by an insight of the distinct gifts with which we have been created. At the end of that path is a life filled with joy, peace, and contentment.

This is what I want for my kids. May they find their success by discerning God’s will and becoming the wonderful people that God intended.

No One Before God

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2017

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It took five years of marriage before I was ready to have that first baby. Of course, now that I have three children I cannot imagine a life without them. After 25 years, I cannot imagine life without my wife as well.

And I know that I am lucky. I know those who have lost children or have been widowed. They couldn’t imagine life without their loved ones either.

The tough reality to digest is that we don’t own those whom we love. They are all gifts from God, entrusted to each of us as good stewards. If we cling too tightly, we become like the steward who buried his talents in the ground. If we don’t care enough, we become like the prodigal son who squandered his gifts on gambling and frivolous living.

But can we love our loved ones too much? I am not sure it is possible to love someone too much if it is genuine love. However, if we truly love them, then we will want to lead them to the one that gave them to us in the first place: God. We do that by demonstrating that no one comes before God in our lives, not even our family.

In this world, our loved ones make living meaningful. But this world is not the end. As much as we love them here, our ultimate goal is for them to live eternally with God. May my wife and kids never think I chose them over God, so that they may choose God over all else, as well.