Consider the “work” we do during the Divine Liturgy. The word “liturgy” in Greek means work, or service. So we often call what we do on Sunday a “service.” But consider the quality of our service. Some give their whole heart and soul, and some just warm a pew. Who is more pleasing to God, one who comes with his whole heart, or one who comes only out of a sense of guilt or gloomy obligation? Jesus wants our whole hearts, and he’s willing to pay good money for them. Are you willing to work hard to please your Father in heaven, simply because he is your father? St. Paul urges us in the Epistle to “run so as to win.” Only one athlete wins the gold. Watching the Olympians putting their whole heart into the contest. If only we could do that to win heaven! If only we could strive in such excellence to please the Lord of our hearts!
In the sacristy here, and in many sacristies priests see a plaque on the wall: Priest of God: “offer this Mass as if it were your first Mass, your last Mass, your only Mass.” That is a goal for every one of us, not just priests. And then take what we receive at this Liturgy, and invest it with diligent labor to transform the culture.
In all good things, Our Lady is our model of Christian excellence. In saying Fiat (May it be done) to the angel Gabriel, she gave her whole heart to God, her entire Immaculate heart to His good pleasure. In hastening to her cousin Elizabeth over rough roads for four days, her work pleased God. God honored her trust and her diligence; he paid good money for her labor. She reigns now as Queen of Heaven, and she urges her children to work and run so as to win.