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I came into the office after working outside in the garden. My office manager, Carol, told me I had messages on my desk. A painful moan slipped out of my mouth. I started to read the notes while Carol stepped out of the office. She returned with a glass of water and gave it to me saying, “Drink it.” After I drank it I declared, “Oh, this is great; the guy returned my call.” Carol added, “See that, your attitude changed. I knew you were dehydrated.” I answered, “You’re right. Do you mean to tell me I have been dehydrated all these years?”
Experts tell us that we do not drink enough water. That is because we are not always thirsty when we need to hydrate, and when we are thirsty, we have a cold beer or a coffee and that is worse. That happens in the spiritual life. We need to feed the soul. But when we do, we often fill the need with things that neither engage us or not energize us.
Joshua is the guy that replaced Moses. One notices immediately that Joshua did just about everything that Moses did. Both divided water and led the people through the dry-shod; both celebrated the Passover, both gave commandments from God, both lead the people to victory, and both gave speeches before they died. The first reading was a part of this speech before Joshua died. Of course, we know it was a great speech by the reaction of the people. They were inspired and motivated. They promised everlasting fidelity with God, they were going to keep the commandments and they would always be God’s people. But as we know that this did not happen. They quickly turned away from God. What went wrong? They were so motivated and inspired. What happened? They only listened to the speech one time. They needed to read the transcript over and over again. They needed to be continually motivated and inspirited.
I know of a boy who started dancing at five years old. Naturally, the kids teased him in school and he was bullied. It was pretty brutal. They do not bully him anymore. At eighteen years old, he is the most sought-after dancer and choreographer in the industry. He drives a new Tesla and owns a two-story condo in LA. He has a great success story, but it did not come easily. We ask, how did he survive the teasing and bullying, the stress of competition, and setbacks and disappointments, and the long hours of training? He tells us that he had great mentors and teachers. He was exposed to a constant diet of inspiration, incentive, and motivation. He fed on that steady supply of support
It is the same with us. We need to expose ourselves to constant inspiration and motivation to get us through the hard times. And we have it. The Scriptures, the Sacraments, reception of the Holy Spirit, a Church with great people to help us.
The other day I saw a potted bush out on someone’s balcony. The bush was withered from top to bottom. Ironically, in front of the pot was a watering can. We are like that potted plant. We have a watering can beside us all the time. We just have to use it.
I met someone who told me, “I do not feel as if my life has any meaning. I get up and work, pay the bills, fix problems, and try to avoid as many regrets as possible. Every day it is the same thing.” I asked the person, “When was the last time you felt your life had any meaning?” The person said, “When I used to go to church.” I replied, “I have no further questions.”Back to All Homilies