Yesterday I attended Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes, where my friend and colleague Fr. Dan Griffith (who is the pastor at Lourdes) said the Mass.
The first reading was a beautiful passage from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. Paul begins by speaking of that fact that preaching the Gospel is an obligation, not a do-it-or-not act. One can hear in his words the depth of his passion for carrying his charge.
Although I am free in regard to all,
I have made myself a slave to all
so as to win over as many as possible.
I have become all things to all, to save at least some.
All this I do for the sake of the Gospel,
so that I too may have a share in it.
Fr. Dan talked about Paul’s passion for his ministry, describing him as being “all in for Christ.”
It is a good description of what our discipleship demands of us – being all in. Not: I’ll evangelize now and then when I can spare a minute from the rest of my activities. Not: I’ll slot God at the end of the work week. But being all in – with our total being every step of the way. The difference between God is my hobby and God is my life.
And it was Paul’s being all in that allowed him to go out as effectively as he did to the various communities to whom he preached.
Be all in for Christ. Go all out for Christ. It’s pretty straightforward.