Give up…

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How many times have we heard the phrase, “Just give it up.”  For me, when I hear it I am left with the thought of what would I give it up for.  Like, we give things up for the season of Lent, or we sacrifice by fasting to add power to our prayer, but this morning I came to the understanding that we need to give it all up, all the time.  Why?  Here is the Gospel reading for today…

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
“Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said to him in reply,
“We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

(Matthew 19:23-30)

As I listened to the homily from the Mass in Tampa, Florida this morning on the radio on the way to our communion service, I realized that the Lord is calling us to not be attached to anything other than God.  When are asked to give something up, it is just that.  We send it up to Heaven, and if it comes back to us, we need it to fulfill his will for us, but if we give it “up” and it never comes back, we don’t need it.  It seems right to re-post the First Principle and Foundation of the great Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order…

The human person is created to praise, reverence, and serve God Our Lord, and by doing so, to save his or her soul.

All other things on the face of the earth are created for human beings in order to help them pursue the end for which they are created.

It follows from this that one must use other created things, in so far as they help towards one’s end, and free oneself from them, in so far as they are obstacles to one’s end.

To do this, we need to make ourselves indifferent to all created things, provided the matter is subject to our free choice and there is no other prohibition.

Thus, as far as we are concerned, we should not want health more than illness, wealth more than poverty, fame more than disgrace, a long life more than a short one, and similarly for all the rest, but we should desire and choose only what helps us more towards the end for which we are created.

Lord make me into a new creation and let me let go and give everything “up” to you.

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