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  • Writer's pictureRebekah Stiller

A Good Word - from Fr. Greg Jakubowicz, OFM 9/3/2023

Hello Friends,

I hope you had a good summer and for those of you who just started the new semester at UB - all is going well.

Our readings this weekend for the 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time challenge you and me to think differently - that is, to think like God thinks.

In Saint Paul's letter to the Romans, he points out that we should not conform ourselves to this age but that we should discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect. That is how we are to think and act.

This different way of thinking and being in the world means that you and I have to lose our life – those things which the world tells us are important - in order to find it.

As Pope Francis points out, “this paradox contains the golden rule that God inscribed in human nature created in Christ: that the rule that only love gives meaning and happiness to life. To spend one's own talents, one's energy, and one's time only to save, protect, and fulfill oneself in reality leads to losing oneself, that is, to a sad and barren existence.”

The Pope pointed out that if we think differently as God does, root our life in the path of Love as Jesus showed us, you and I will have authentic joy.

I know this changing the way we think and see the world can be tough. This is especially so if you are a student and are trying to prepare for the future. You can get wrapped up in trying to better yourself and prepare yourself for a professional life.

But I don’t think that is necessarily what Jesus is talking about. Instead, what I think we are being called to do is simply put God first in all that we do and think.

Saint Francis of Assisi used to challenge the friars to be “in the marketplace” but not “of the marketplace.” What St. Francis was saying is that we need to live in the world, work, be professional and do what needs to be done - but we can't let that rule our life or become the center of our lives.

We can't make the goals of our careers or those of the world that by which you and I pattern our life. Rather you and I as followers of Jesus Christ must pattern our life in the self-emptying Love of God as witnessed to us by Jesus Christ.

That means you and I must not buy into the false promises of the 3 “p’s” – power, privilege, and popularity – that the world seems to value so much. But instead, you and I must let go of fear, forgive those who hurt us, stand together with the unwanted, be a servant to others, and simply try to love without condition.

We care called to "get used to different” as they say in the series “The Chosen.” Because that's how God thinks and what God values. Like Jesus, we too must take up our crosses and try to love others unconditionally and fully.

As hard as that might seem - you and I can indeed do it because God continues to give you and me, through the Holy Spirit, the strength of each other in our faith to help us, the knowledge passed on through the Word of God and our faith tradition, as well as the unbelievable Holy Power of the Eucharist.

So let you and me be different! Let us be in the world but not of the world, let us trust in God to help us think like God - full of merciful love, and let you and I see as God sees all of God’s creation – differently, through the eyes of Love.

As always, if there is anything we can do for you at UB Catholic campus ministry, please let me know. We are here for you.

May God bless you with Peace and All Good.

Fr. Greg

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