Commentary on the Gospel of

Larry Hopp-Creighton University's Energy Technology Program, retired

Today we honor Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini.  In reviewing her storied life, we find a young girl from a large family living in Italy.  She experienced a rather ordinary childhood, but was touched by many “extra ordinary” events throughout her life.  Those events helped develop a heart focused upon the wellbeing of all those God had placed in her life – from Europe and on to North & South America.  Through the establishment of schools, clinics, orphanage, and hospitals, she left a truly profound impact for good upon our world.  So, was she simply a hero for us?  Or perhaps a very uniquely gifted individual?

Today’s readings provide an unmistakable answer to those questions.  An answer that has the power to turn our comfortable lives up-side-down.

In his letter to Titus, Paul explains that as a follower of Christ, we are to be a good example to all those around us.  If we are older, we need to be temperate, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, love and endurance.  If younger, modeling integrity with dignity.  Paul reminds Titus (and us) to live temperately, justly, and devoted.  Just as Jesus lived his life on earth and gave himself for us.  Sounds a lot like how Saint Frances chose to live her life.

Today’s Responsorial Psalm provides further advice for doing good in our lives.  We are reminded to trust in the Lord and to take delight in the Lord.  It would seem that these are much more than suggestions for doing good.  They are REQUIRED for doing good. 

Paul’s letter and the Psalm provide a vivid directive for doing good, but Jesus chose to re-emphasize how this all works.  In the 14th chapter of the Gospel of John,  Jesus provided significant comfort to his disciples, reminding those that love Him to keep His word – to love, serve, and do good.  But then in today’s reading in Luke, Jesus takes that command to an all new level.  Following God’s directives is not only something we all need to do, but it is also something we are “obligated to do”!  What a life changing concept, followers of Jesus are obligated to do good - not to earn grace, but because that is what followers of Christ must do.  We do not do good so that others will notice or to earn praise.  As servants of our heavenly father, doing good is something that we just take delight in, because we love and follow Jesus. 

Dear Heavenly Father, open my heart to see the world as Jesus sees it.  Help me to see what needs to be done and give me the courage to selflessly follow your will and do it.  Thank you for the perfect example provided by Jesus and for all your Biblical directives that provide the blueprint for doing good in our troubled world. 

In the name of Jesus,

Amen

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