As a young adult, I recognize myself in the young man that we read about in today’s Gospel. We want to know the rules, the step-by-step instructions, the exact path to walk down for perfection. I’ve talked about it before, how as technologically advanced people, we want to be able to perfect the art of being happy and of being holy.
Today, the young man follows the rules, the Ten Commandments, and yet he does not feel like that is enough. He is correct.
Living out a faithful life is more than simply going through the motions. Most of us are not murderers, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery, don’t lie, and we honor our parents. We treat others kindly. Yet, we still feel empty.
I think back to when I was depressed and yearning for God’s presence in my life. I was going to church and following the commandments, but I didn’t feel the faithful joy that others were experiencing.
Finally, I realized that going through the motions of being a Catholic is not the same as living out your Catholic Christian duty. Both your actions and heart must be in it. Also, even if you want your heart to be in it, it’s not that simple. You have to understand what you’re gaining. You have to value yourself and your place in God’s world.
I find it comparable to the workplace. You can like having a job and the financial/health benefits that it gives you, but that is not the same as having a job that you find fulfillment in.
For me, working for the Catholic Church through technology gives me everything that I need to be fulfilled. I love knowing that I am helping the Catholic Church be more relatable and accessible to this generation. Without knowing what I am doing this all for, I’m not sure the work that I do would be fulfilling.
All the emails, all the meetings, and all the stress wouldn’t be worth it if it was only about emails, meetings, and stress. It’s the problem solving and lightbulb moments that give my job meaning. It’s about the bigger picture and my role in it that makes it worth it. It’s knowing that my actions are in line with my goal of heaven and service to My Father.
The same can be said for being Catholic. We can go to Mass and do all the Catholic “work,” but if we don’t understand why we’re doing it then it won’t be meaningful.
I ask that you not give in to being complacent with your faith. Ask what your God means to you and how you allow him to play a role in your daily life as you “go through the motions” of your life.
Is your heart fulfilled with the service you’re providing to God and his people?
Veronica Alvarado is a born and raised Texan currently living in Michigan. Since graduating from Texas A&M University, Veronica has published various articles in the Catholic Diocese of Austin’s official newspaper, the Catholic Spirit, and other local publications. She now works as the Content Specialist in Diocesan’s Web Department.