How often have I been asked to bless a house, store or office and noticed that there is an Altar at one end of the room, but on the other end, there is that “lucky cat” statue with the hands that goes up and down. On the other side yet, there is the frog with a coin in the mouth.
In other words, what the owners are saying, is that if the Lord does not bring money to the house, maybe the lucky cat and the frog will. In other words, it is not really about invoking the presence of God, it is more about the money.
In the Gospel Jesus also told his followers: “You are looking for me because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes.” In other words, people were following Jesus because of the material gain.
Hence, three marks of a true disciple of Christ:
- Pick up your cross. All of us have our crosses in life. One of the prayers is for the Lord to remove those crosses. Sometimes, He does. Often, he does not. Yet, he gives us strength to carry our crosses in life. While indeed everyone hurts, we still have the strength to look at the life with hope and joy.
- Service. Jesus said I came to serve and not to be served. That is why all of us are here on earth because God has a mission and purpose. This mission is about serving others. This mission is about making a difference in the lives of others. Yes, it can be difficult to serve, yet the Lord will never abandon us.
- Follow the Will of the Lord. As human beings, it is the most basic act that we choose what is good over what is evil. That is most basic. However for us Christians, we can go a step higher. What is the Will of the Lord?
Before I became a priest, I was a corporate person. When corporate people think, it is about profit. When one plans, one looks at the resources, makes forecasts and says it is okay to proceed. On the other hand, how many Churches were built without funds. The parish priest simply says, “God will provide.” Indeed He does. Hence, decisions are not based on money, it’s availability or lack of it. It is based on the will of the Lord.
In each Mass, we remember the words of Jesus:
- “We cannot have two masters, we are going to love one and despise the other.”
- “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all else will be added unto you.
- “No one ever trusted God and was put to shame.”