Today’s Gospel Reading at the Sunday Mass comes from Mark 1:12-15:
After John had been arrested,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
After John had been arrested,
If the Lenten season is a time for us to imitate Christ Jesus more closely by giving more of our life to Him as He gave all of His life for us, and living a more disciplined life so that we might be more attuned to what we have been called to do, then one thing that we can reflect upon during these forty days of Lent is whether we are on mission or whether we are idle in our life right now.
One thing for certain that we know about Jesus is that He was always actively engaged in pursuing the work that His Father sent Him here to do. Even when we find Him as twelve year old boy in the Temple; in response to the anxiety that His parents were feeling after thinking that they had lost Him, “. . . he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 1:49). There are a number of other times in the Gospels when the adult Jesus went off to be by Himself or with His disciples, and whenever those looking for Him found Him they never found Him idle – He is always either approaching them, seemingly waiting for them, suffering for them, praying, or had just finished praying.
I once heard a preacher say that there is no unemployment in the Kingdom of God. I believe that is absolutely true. As people of God we were created to know, love, and serve Him. We were created for a definite purpose to love one another as Christ Jesus loved us. We were created so that we might glorify God by giving all of our life to back to Him. We were created so that He could live in us, with us, and through us. Therefore, if you are not actively engaged in knowing, loving, and serving God then you are idle and at grave risk to falling into the temptations of Satan.
Are you idle right now? Are you actively engaged in pursuing your own missions and goals and objectives or are you in your Father’s house? If I were looking for you where would I find you and what would I find you doing? Perhaps you don’t know or are unsure of the assignment that God has for you; perhaps you never felt that the Spirit has led you anywhere; perhaps you think there are more interesting activities to be engaged in than serving God, as if there is another activity that leads holiness; perhaps you’ve forgotten that your first mission is love one another as Christ loved you (Cf. John 13:34); to be a vessel to accomplish the only prayer that Jesus taught you; that is, the will of God being done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Therefore, I encourage you to reject the idleness that leads to complacency, immorality, sin, dullness of spirit, and death. I encourage you to actively engage every fiber of your being into the life of Christ by using each second of your day to love – not according to your own ability – but, rather, to the ability of the Spirit of God who lives in you, who is able to accomplish through you more than you could ever imagine. I promise you that by being focused on this singular task to know, love, and serve God you will be in a much better position to resist the temptations of Satan and glorify God in every aspect of your life.
“This is how you are to pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors;
and do not subject us to the final test,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
Scripture texts in this blog are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.