You’ve Got Mail!

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When I was a young wife, we first lived overseas. In the days before computers and smart phones, mail was precious; even telephones weren’t widely had by low ranking military. Mail was my connection with “back home” – my friends and family. Alone all day in a small apartment where no-one around spoke English, I was hungry for that connection. So when my husband returned from work at the end of the day, bringing home whatever mail had arrived, a part of me wanted to ignore him and just reach for the mail. Realizing that, sent a message that he was less important than the mail, I struggled to refrain from the impulse and focused instead on him. It was about priorities.

Today, with all the instant communication available, I still find myself eagerly checking on my e-mail first thing every morning, hungry to be in touch with friends and family. Still, the question of priorities remains. My husband may be here with me all day, but there is an important someone whom I need to put first. That, of course, is God. So I have to ask myself, just how can I show God He is more important to me than checking my mail? An easy answer for me has been to visit the Three Minute Retreat on the Loyola Press website before I check my e-mail. I find it helps to get the day started on the right foot. It is important for me to do this, because God also sends me messages, and if I ignore His “You’ve got mail” by putting off prayer and meditation, I am lessened.

In today’s gospel, Jesus is also speaking about priorities. He tells his followers that times may get rough and they may have to choose between following the Way of God and the way of the world, or even their families. If they want to be true followers, they need to face just what it means to put God first, to recognize what they may have to lose. It’s not a choice anyone wants to make, but we need to recognize it and prepare our hearts. Most of us – but not all – will be spared from such tragic divisions. Hopefully if the time comes we will be ready to make the choice that matters. In the meantime, we prepare by the little things we do. We make the time to pray, we choose to go to Mass even if more entertaining choices are available, and we try to demonstrate in our work and daily routines that Christ lives in us.

It’s a matter of priorities.

Linda Crowley