Leave it all on the field

Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

First Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 107
Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40

Have you ever heard athletes talking about "leaving it all on the field?" When I played football we talked about this concept a lot. Leaving it all on the field means that while you are playing the sport, you play with all that you have; you play with all your heart and emotion, all your strength and energy, all your skills and abilities; and you play until the very end. This is so at the end of the game you can say that you put everything you had into that game, you didn't hold anything back and you left it all on the field. This concept has more than just athletic implications; imagine if we all approached our faith life like this.

We are told today that the greatest commandment is to "love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all you mind." What does this imply? God needs to be first in our lives; not just on Sundays, not only when it is convenient, not only when we are bored, and not only when we are in trouble. He needs to be number one, every minute of every day. When we do place Him first in our lives; it is simply amazing how everything else will fall into place and how things will be put into perspective more. It is not simply enough to just place Him first though. When we do follow Him and love Him we cannot just do it partially, we need to give of ourselves totally. We need to give it all to Him, all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our mind. Place Him in your hearts, let His Spirit fill you, fixate your thoughts on Him at all times, love Him with everything you have and don't hold nothing back. When we give up everything for Him, this is called sacrifice. Our Lord Jesus knows all about sacrifice. It was He who gave all of who He was for us; so that we could have a way to the Father. Shouldn't we also sacrifice for Him, as he sacrificed for us?

Let us all play until the end, and leave it all on the field.

Father above, you give us this great gift of life. Let us use it to serve you with all that we are and to hold nothing back. Lord grant us the strength to persevere until the end so that when we reach you we might hear the words "well done good and faithful servant." Lord we pray for all those who are seeking you on their journey through this life. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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