By Fr. Tony Fortman C.P.P.S.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus expects us to give our best.
You and I are made mostly comfortable by many blessings. We have enough food, we have automobiles, we have homes. (Some of us may not have all of that, but most of us do.) When we are comforted with so much, God expects much from us.
As a Missionary of the Precious Blood and a priest in the United States, I want for nothing. Some of our Missionaries of the Precious Blood in other countries have to share their cars in their ministries. I experienced that when I visited La Oroya, far above the treeline in the Andes of Peru. When Fr. Jim Gaynor, C.PP.S., and I went up the mountain to visit La Oroya, we had to hitchhike. Dump trucks brought us to the place where we celebrated Mass.
Some of our Missionaries of the Precious Blood in other countries do not get paid for their ministries. I keep thinking of Jesus telling us, when much is given, much is expected. You and I could give so much more but we don’t, maybe because of health reasons or lack of finances.
God expects us to serve. He tells us in today’s Gospel that when you have done all you have been commanded to do, you should say, We are useless servants we have done no more than our duty. We do not have to brag about all we do, because God expects us to do much. Mother Theresa of Calcutta said that you have to have quick feet for Jesus because he expects much from us. There is also an old German saying, “Hard work makes life sweet.” Fr. Scott Kramer, C.PP.S., taught me that saying.
I have noticed that when I go the extra mile for others, God rewards me with many invitations. Most of these invitations are to go to people’s homes and eat with them. I always say, thank God I became a priest because I do like to eat.
You and I are accountable at the end of our lives. We are not accountable only to the provincial director of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, but to Almighty God, who will weigh us on the scales. So go forth and serve the Lord without any fanfare or notoriety. You will be rewarded in the next life. God bless you all.
Fr. Tony Fortman, C.PP.S., is the pastor of the three parishes in the Catholic Communities of Northwest Dayton, Precious Blood, St. Paul and St. Rita.