“Must I give up my….?” –Judges 9:9, 11, 13

Mass Readings: August 23
First: Judges 9:6-15; Resp: Psalm 21:2-7; Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16

Listen to the Mass Readings

If the Lord calls us to leadership, we sacrifice our time to lead for Him. We also sacrifice what we could have done with all that extra time if we weren’t leading His people. A sacrifice involves freely giving up something for the Lord. What we get back from the Lord is not the object; the important thing is what we give to the Lord. God prefers sacrifices freely given from a generous, loving, obedient heart.

I am one of those who has been blessed to have been called to God’s service “the first thing in the morning” (see Mt 20:1). For forty years now, I have labored in the vineyard for Jesus. Occasionally I struggle to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus (Heb 3:1; 12:2) rather than on the reward for serving Him. At times, I find myself asking: “Must I give up” my best years (most of which are behind me)?

The answer God has always given me, and all of His people, is “Yes, you must give up. Give up your time, your dreams, your money, your life. Don’t deny me anything. I will be your Strength.” As to the reward for serving Him, God declares in His Word: “Look out that you yourselves do not lose what you have worked for; you must receive your reward in full” (2 Jn 8). “Do not, then, surrender your confidence; it will have great reward. You need patience to do God’s will and receive what He has promised” (Heb 10:35-36).

PRAYER: Prayer: “May He give to all of you a heart to worship Him and to do His will readily and generously” (2 Mc 1:3).
PROMISE: Promise: “The last shall be first and the first shall be last.” –Mt 20:16
PRAISE: Praise: St. Rose was known for her life of severe penances and her care of the needy in Lima, Peru, especially slaves and native Indians.

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