Sunday, May 17, 2015

2015/05/15 - What defines you?

 “May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance…”

I've got a stack of graduation invitations this year – and I was thumbing through them the other day and noticed how each graduate had as many as 6 pictures on their invitation.  Back when I was a senior, you just took a picture from here to here (upper part of the body) and THAT was your senior picture.  Today, senior pictures tell a story… a story about WHO this person is.  There were several pictures of them with their tractor, with their favorite truck or car…Many had pictures with their sports equipment or trophies.  Some has specific clothing on to tell what awards they had won or what group they belonged to.  For High School seniors, this is how they tell the world Who they are:  what they are passionate about.
Now …picture yourself 20 years after high school introducing yourself as – Hi – I’m Bob and I was on the cross country team at NE Dubois.   Everybody’s like…so what?
That’s perfectly OK and normal when you’re IN high school, but sooner or later… unless you’re Vic Betz, being on the cross country team will no longer describe who you are 20 years later.  ;)
Who we are changes over time – so how would you answer that 20 years later?
You probably already have noticed, that if you’re a Man, you would probably say something like – I’m Mike and I work at Alcoa in the IT department.  Or – My name is Jerry and I’m a Pilot for American Airlines.  I’m Isadore and I’m a farmer.  See the pattern?  Men define who they are BY THE JOB THAT THEY DO. 
If you are a woman – how you answer that question – Who are you?  Is not quite as predictable as it used to be.  But traditionally, most women would answer with something like:  I’m Janet – I have a husband, Bob of 27 years and 2 kids, Bobby Jr who is married to Annette - and Kelly, who just graduated from college…and we have 1.5 grandkids.
See the difference?  More often – not always – women traditionally identify who THEY are by their family…or by their relationships.  I’m a mother, a wife, and a grandmother….and if they have a job, that comes secondary.
Men, on the other hand, usually – again, not always – usually identify themselves by What they DO.  Regardless, the common denominator here is that we ALL IDENTIFY OURSELVES BY WHAT WE’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT… Our Life’s work defines who we are.
So what is your life’s work?  What work will define WHO YOU ARE?
I was walking around the cemetery this morning and noticed that even on tomb stones, people put pictures that define who the person was… pictures of their house, barn, tractor… the tomb stone defines what that person’s passion was.
So what will be your life’s work?  What will be on your tombstone?
Pray about that.  No matter what stage in life we are, God has a plan…God has given you a unique talent – as it says in the 2nd reading – for building up the body of Christ.  If we’re not asking God what HE wants us to do, we will likely end up doing something that doesn’t really fulfill us.
When we reach the end of life and go before the pearly gates, St. Peter will ask the question one last time:  Who are you?  Think about the BEST way to answer that question… and then go…and live that kind of life.

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