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“Pizza!” by Ramil Caragay, Fiat Ventures

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

I have always loved pizza since the moment I set foot on this earth. I couldn’t imagine life without pizza. My life would be drastically different if I never tasted the cheesy delicacy. We all have something that we love that we can’t imagine life without. Whether it’s food, money, clothes, people, a hobby or interest, we all have something in our life that we love so much, to the point where we could never let go of it.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus teaches us about giving what we have and not being afraid to give it all away.  All of us are attached to something. It might be something trivial like pizza, though pepperoni is just about the tastiest thing I can think of right now. Or it might be something more significant like money, a job, a sport, popularity, power. We get attached to all sorts of things.

Jesus doesn’t ask us to give these things up just to make us miserable. Sometimes it’s because they’re a distraction from focusing our attention on him, and sometimes it’s for the good of someone else who is in need.  Jesus teaches us to have a heart that is sacrificial and willing to give everything.

Sometimes our attachment to certain things in our lives can make it very difficult to sacrifice. In the first reading, Elijah tells us “Do not be afraid. Go and do as you propose.” All we have to do is set our hearts to give and continuously train ourselves to sacrifice even if it’s only little by little. Maybe giving up your money or food seems absurd to you, but that’s okay. God continuously tells us throughout scripture, “Do not be afraid.” We just have to trust Jesus that His words are true and that we will lose nothing even if we give up everything.

So, I really love pizza but I would give it up in a heartbeat for someone who was hungry. Or even better, if I ran into a homeless person who needed food, I could grab a few slices for us and sit down and listen to their story.  I can’t lie, it’s not always easy for me to do this but when I remember that Jesus sacrificed everything for me just so that I can live, I remember that I should do the same.

Even if you need to start out somewhere small, I encourage you to give. Whether it’s to a family member, friend, classmate, or co-worker, even something small goes a long way. If we train our hearts to give, it will become even easier to do so. Yes, pizza is amazing, and so is the green in my wallet that allows me to buy it, but it will never compare to the everlasting love that Jesus has for me and the ultimate sacrifice He paid for me on the Cross!

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