First off, let me start with a question. It’s something
I wonder about concerning this gospel passage. I don’t intend
to be irreverent, but was Jesus a workaholic? Would his spiritual
director tell him today to tighten up his boundaries? I don’t
know. But, it’s something I deal with.
What I really want to look at with you today is this notion of “the
sacrifice of praise.” It seems so easy. All I have to do is
say something good about God, right? That doesn’t cost anything,
really, does it?
This term, “sacrifice of praise” appears in the First
Eucharistic Prayer at least a couple of times. It has come to mean
a lot to me in the past few years. I have come to take it as a statement
from the worshiping Church to God that says, “It’s not
about ME, but about YOU!” In other words, the praise of the
Church is meant to be a total self-offering, a pouring out of self
That suggests that, on the last day, when we all will be able to
truly pray the 23rd psalm and claim that “The Lord really
IS my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want,” then we shall
be caught up in the fullness of Love Outpoured. That’s when
receiving and giving are the same thing.
Now, maybe that answers the question about Jesus being a workaholic.
We workaholics work too hard to make up for emptiness. Perhaps Jesus’
continued giving was more a reflection of mystery of fullness and
emptiness he lived with rather than a making up. Hmmm, I’ll
have to think about that. You?