For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not have to be bothered with going to Mass on Sunday, but might go fishing instead… because it is better to sit at a lake thinking about God than it is to sit in church thinking about fish.
If I ever write a book entitled Things the Gospel Never Said, I’m going to lead with that quote. People have actually said that to me — at least, the part about sitting at the lake thinking about God being better than sitting in a church thinking about fish — and have, I honestly believe, in their own minds full of modernism and mush thought they have made a profound statement. Let’s think about it intelligently.
There are 168 hours in a week. God gives us plenty of time to fish and plenty of time to worship. If we give God ten percent, we should be in church or doing things that actively promote our good relationship with the Lord for 17 hours each week. Sixteen point eight if you want to be exact, but let’s round up for the Lord.
God doesn’t ask us for seventeen hours, though. He asks us for one. Or maybe an hour-and-ten-minutes if the homily is a long one. Giving the full seventeen hours is wonderful; giving more is delightful. Going to Mass on Sunday is the bare minimum.
No. It is not better to sit at a lake thinking of God than to sit in a church thinking of fish. It is better to give to God what is God’s due and to remain always in communion with the Lord, for God so loves us that He gave His only begotten Son so that we might have eternal life. It is — and I am speaking as one who loves to fish — very unwise to squander our chance at eternal life pursuing fish — or anything else of the world — during those hours we ought to be pursuing an actual relationship with the Lord. No one wants to spend eternity sitting by a lake of fire lamenting how we spent our time on earth.
Everything that we have comes from God. Truthfully, He asks very little in return. Let us pray always for the grace to live in the light and come to the truth, so that our works may clearly be seen as being done in God.