27th Sunday Ordinary Time
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: October 2, 2022
A priest friend was speaking jokingly about another priest friend of mine and said, “with him there are always strings attached.” He was joking, but sometimes we can be that way with God. I go to Mass, I pray, I try to be a good person, but there are always strings attached. We do all this so therefore I deserve special treatment, things should all go well in my life. God owes me. Do we have a sense of entitlement when it comes to our faith?
Jesus says to his disciples that after they have done all that was asked of them they should simply respond, “We have only done what we ought to have done.” We do not live our Catholic Faith and then bribe God with it. A sense of entitlement is actually a sign of lacking faith.
True Faith expects nothing in return. True Faith sees that all is a gift. Our life is a pure undeserved gift. Our Faith itself is a pure gift and not something I earned. We do not expect anything and are full of gratitude for all that we do have. There is no sense of entitlement. I do not do what is right, what is true, what is God’s will, in order to get something in return.
Live our Faith not in a sense of entitlement, but in a spirit of gratitude. When we live our life and our faith rooted in gratitude, it changes everything. When our Faith is rooted in gratitude then it becomes a Faith that is truly able to change the world. For we are not sitting waiting to get what we deserve, we are simply joyful inside for the undeserved gifts that we have received.
In the letter to Timothy we hear the believers being told, “rekindle the gift of God that is within you.” and “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.” Nurture your faith, deepen your faith. If it has weakened then rekindle that gift of God. Do not give in to cowardice, but live your faith with power, with love, with self-discipline.
One of the keys to nurturing your faith is a spirit of gratitude. Reflect on the gift of being alive, the gift of even a small faith, all the little gifts you have in your life. When you are rooted in gratitude then faith is deepened. Then your faith will not have strings attached, will not be about entitlement. It will be freely lived rooted in gratitude.
The Mass is called the Eucharist, which means Thanksgiving. Every time we come to the Eucharist we are giving thanks. Every day take time to reflect on your reason for thanksgiving and give thanks to God.
A spirit of thanksgiving will rekindle the gift of God within you, will take away any spirit of cowardice and lead you to a deeper faith.
We need to live our faith without any strings attached.