There was a farmer putting up a fence with his young son. He suddenly dropped a heavy fence post right in the middle of a mud puddle. Both father and son were splashed with mud. Later, an eyewitness asked him, “Jim, did you drop that post in the puddle on purpose?” He nodded his head saying, “Yes, I sure did.” Puzzled, the man asked him why he would do such a thing. The farmer grinned and said, Because my son had on a new pair of overalls, and we weren’t getting any work done because he was so worried about getting them dirty. Did you notice how much quicker the work got done after he got dirty?”
How ready are you to put all things aside to follow Jesus and invite others to Him? Are you afraid of getting dirty? At the very center of today’s Gospel is Jesus’ startling statement that the only way we have life is to lose it. We lose it by choosing to love Jesus — even above our own family — and by serving others. By doing so, we, ourselves, our family,
and others, are raised up – we grow as real Catholic Christians.
Let us welcome Father Suresh Mathew as our new parochial vicar! He’s going to get dirty with us as we serve the Lord together! He is a Benedictine Priest from India. Along with three others, he arrived here in November to serve for five years wherever he is needed. He literally left family and home in India to be a missionary to us! Welcome Father Mathew!
Welcome another Matthew — Deacon Matthew Brend! He has been recently serving at Our Lady of the Visitation in Elizabeth. He’s not afraid of getting dirty with us in jail ministry, Encourage ministry, as well as preaching, marriage preparation, and working with our young people. Deacon Matthew has also been learning Spanish! !Mil gracias! His wife, Tracy, has already been very active with us in our Stephen Ministry, as our Librarian, as well as a Spiritual Director. Welcome Deacon Matthew!
Let us pray for our high school youth group! They are going to get dirty on their upcoming Work Camp. They will be leaving for South Dakota next weekend for a week-long mission.
To be worthy of Jesus and the life that he offers us means that we must die to ourselves; to be willing to lose our lives for the sake of others. Doing it in little ways leads to doing it in big ways. One little way could be by giving someone your complete attention when he or she is trying to say something to you this week. Another little way might be to have a surprise ready for your tired spouse or parent after a hard day at work. Still another little way might be to welcome the person who seems to be new to you here at Mass. In all these ways we see and serve Jesus. Don’t be afraid to get dirty!
Fr. Mark Zacker