I am reading a biography of Albert Einstein. Sometimes I pick a topic or person I know very little about and try to learn something new. I may not understand his Theory of Relativity, but I have learned a few other things. Being a genius in science does not necessarily make you one in life. Einstein discovered E=MC2, but I am not sure he understood that Dad = Time + Kid. I am not trying to be unkind or judgmental because Einstein lived in a different time and emotional place than we do now. It is clear to me that we are all called to be geniuses in our own way, so I offer five ways to be a genius.

1. Kids - The first equation that I propose is Nice Kids = Quality Time + Quanity Time. This is not easy in our busy world. With work and sports teams, homework and friends, getting enough time with your children is a real challenge. It breaks my heart to pull up to a stoplight and see a teenager sitting in the front passenger seat with headphones on. An opportunity missed is gone forever. We need to maximize every opportunity. Maybe Junior does not need to do more than one activity/sport a season? Finally, if you weren't such a fantastic parent, you can always be an incredible grandparent!

2. Spouses - My next equation is Marriage = You + God's Love. God gives husbands and wives to each other to allow them to show His love in a unique and personal way to each other. Only a spouse can love the other in this special way. From that love flows everything in the couple's life - children, joy, and, especially, eternal life. Married couples must cultivate the sacredness of their vows each day.

3. Neighbors - When I say neighbors, I mean not just the people that live next door. Neighbors includes everybody that is not family. So my next equation is Gospel =You + Inconvenience + Neighbors. Going out of the way to be kind is the reason we were baptized. St. Paul writes, "Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor." (Romans 12, 9-10) This means we have to think of serving others, both those we like and those we don't like, as THE means of serving Jesus.

4. Poor - This is equation is simple, Heaven = You + Poor. As Pope Francis reminds us, "Poverty is the flesh of the poor Jesus, in that child who is hungry, in the one who is sick, in those unjust social structures."

5. God - The most important equation of all is that God's Love = Infinite. I learned this from my best theology professor. She didn't have a doctorate, in fact she could neither read nor write; but Maria was a genius in God. She lived in a shack with a dirt floor in a small town in Nicaragua where I spent a summer during seminary. When I went to bring her Holy Communion, she exclaimed, "Today my home is a castle because the King of Kings has come to visit me!" I learned that day, as I have each day of my priesthood, that I have a lot to learn about the mercy and love of Jesus Christ. Each day the Lord invites us on a journey deeper into that mystery. All we have to say is, "Yes, Lord, I believe. Make me a genius in You!"