PODCAST | “Becoming a laborer”

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Using the story of the Rich Young Man as the model, Fr. Peter Armenio, priest of Opus Dei, reflects upon Jesus’s search for “laborers” for the harvest (Luke 10:2) and highlights the three steps Jesus gives to help us lay down our lives for him and become laborers.

“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?  No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments…’”  And he replied, “All of these I have observed from my youth.”  When Jesus heard this he said to him, “There is still one thing left for you: sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Luke 18: 18-23)

These three steps Jesus gives can be seen as a path leading us towards giving a total gift of self.  First, Jesus lays the foundation by reminding us that God alone is good and able to satisfy the human heart.  Next, Jesus shows that by keeping the commandments, we become free to give ourselves completely, as we are not bound by sins or attachments.  And lastly, Jesus invites us to lay our lives down for him by making him our ultimate good.  In following these steps, Fr. Peter explains that we will become laborers and be able to witness to others that it is only Christ who gives true joy, hope, and freedom.  If we are not capable of giving ourselves totally to God yet, Fr. Peter encourages us to seek God’s grace and Mary’s help in learning to courageously say “yes” as she did.

“Why don’t you give yourself to God once and for all… really… now?  If you see your way clearly, follow it.  Why don’t you shake off the cowardice that holds you back? ‘Proclaim the Good News… I shall be with you…’  It is Jesus who has said this… and he has said it to you.”

St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way: no. 902-904


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Rev. Peter Armenio
Rev. Peter V. Armenio was ordained a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei in 1980. He is the author of several books published by Midwest Theological Forum. He also served as President of the St. Josemaria Institute from 2006 to 2012. He has been working in campus ministry for the past 30 years and is currently a chaplain at The Willows Academy (Des Plaines, IL). He also preaches recollections and gives spiritual direction in Chicago.

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