Connecting Point

Connecting Point: October 2, 2022

I cannot help but smile to myself when I hear the manager or coach of a professional sports team brag about how his/her players “never quit,” or “played until the very end,” and “gave one hundred percent.” Really?! Isn’t that what they are paid (sometimes millions) to do? Have you ever heard a factory foreman brag how his team worked a full eight hours? We are all called to give one hundred percent. Actually, in today’s gospel, Jesus tells us that we are called to give more than one hundred percent! He also assures us that each of us have it within ourselves, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to do so.

There are two small parables in today’s Gospel. In the first, we are told that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed (which we all have) we could accomplish great things. In the second, Jesus tells us that a slave who comes home after toiling all day in the fields would still serve his master dinner. It is just what is required of him. Jesus tells us that we, like that slave, when we have done what we are obligated to do, should say: “We are worthless slaves. We have done only what we ought to have done.” Sounds a bit harsh. Yet, the parable of the mustard seed reminds us of how much more we are called to do, and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, can do!

So “What can I do to go beyond my obligation?” Unfortunately, it often seems that some Catholics think having participated in Mass on Sunday, they have fulfilled their obligation. God should be thankful and reward them. They are set for the week. Really?!

We must go beyond the basic obligation and spend the entire week serving God and others, especially our family and those in need. There are many volunteer opportunities here at the church. In our second reading today, St. Paul tells how the Holy Spirit gives him the strength and endurance he needs to overcome the suffering he experiences in serving God and the community. When we allow the Holy Spirit to come into our lives, the Spirit unites us with Jesus and strengthens us to do his work. Like Jesus, we are called to live a life of service. Each of us has it within us to do great things by going beyond our obligations. Let’s not quit when serving others becomes difficult; let us serve to the very end, and let us give more than one hundred percent!