What you do **MATTERS**
Every action we take, every decision, makes a profound difference to the entire world. We think we can do anything we want, because “it really doesn’t make a difference”. We rationalize away our sins this way saying “it doesn’t really hurt anyone”… but is that really true?
One of my favorite movies is “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart. It exemplifies how many other lives were touched by one man – and the profound effect his actions had on each of their lives. One of my favorite scenes was when the angel was telling George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart’s character) – “All those men on that transport died. Harry wasn’t there to save them, because you weren’t there to save Harry”.
That’s true of all of us. At my brother’s funeral, I heard someone tell a story about when my brother was in High School. He was walking past someone he knew, and made some funny remark to make the guy laugh, which he did, and they continued on passing each other. What my brother didn’t know is that person was seriously contemplating suicide at that moment, and that one exchange – that one laugh – convinced him to continue on with his life. How many lives did HE go on to change? It’s like ripples in a pond. Our actions change someone else’s course, and they go on to change other things, making all new ripples.
One think most of us NEVER think about is offering up our actions, our prayers, our good works, and our sufferings- uniting all our actions and ourselves completely with Christ’s passion and death and offering that to God. Christ, by his life, passion, death, and resurrection, sanctified the entire human existence, and *raised* it to something new. In and of ourselves, our actions are useless — we merit nothing by ourselves…. what could we have to offer but sin and nothingness? But united to Christs suffering, Christ elevates our suffering, our prayers, our acts of self-sacrificial love…. even the tiny things, like making a cup of coffee for our spouse, for getting up at 3 a.m. to feed a child… the small gift we gave to someone who was in need.
WE can’t do anything with those actions, but Christ can! He can use those things we offer, united to his passion and death, to save souls, to convert sinners, to change hearts, to truly change the world.
When, as a child, my mother would tell me “offer it up” – I used to think that was code for “shut up and quit complaining” — it took me years to understand the profound truth to offering our sacrifices and sufferings united to Christ. We’re supposed to FOLLOW Jesus, and pick up our cross *daily*… Those are hints — he wants us to JOIN him in our small way in his passion, on his way of the cross. What was his passion and death for? The salvation of humanity, right? He allows us to join in that salvation by taking a small particle of that mission of his and giving it to us to join with the rest of his passion. Think of Jesus’ passion like a ton of dynamite, and our actions like a tiny match… we’re not much by ourselves, but when united to Jesus’ passion and death — that’s when the explosion of mercy happens just because we offered something up.
Further, offer it up through the Immaculate Heart of Mary — Jesus loves his mother, and wants to honor her… so anything we give her is counted as more, because it was given to Christ by her hands.
So today — if you’re suffering – if you give of yourself in love – whatever you do…. offer it up.