Thursday, July 29, 2010

Today's reflection: How do we know if we really know who Jesus is?

Do we really know who Jesus is and what He is about? Do we really have faith in Him as the true Christ, our Savior and Redeemer? To respond to such questions we ought to ask ourselves: Have I spent serious time with the Lord to really know His mind, His heart and His character? Have I kept His Word in my heart and applied it to my life to see my circumstances through His eyes, to see my life through His eyes? Have I trusted Jesus that I have given Him the chance to rearrange my life on the basis of what He wants for me? Am I the person He wanted me to be because my heart is bonded to Him? Do I believe I know Jesus because with His grace I have tried my very best to live my life for Him despite my shortcomings, my brokenness and imperfections?

A man whose circumstances may not exactly reflect the best can be capable of showing great faith in our Lord. Martha was that such example. Even without fully comprehending Jesus, she rose up in faith and believed in what Jesus had to say. Her witness showed that because she believed, she was able to understand the supernatural.

In the same light, a man who may have just frequented the church and the sacraments only in the recent past may also know God intimately and have the kind of faith that is firmly founded in Jesus. The only pre-requisite to knowing our Lord is to have a heart that is open to His Spirit, a heart that hears and abides in His Word and is obedient to it.

When a man seeks God and comes to know Him, He perfects his faith and he is able to transcend what one may believe as impossible. With God everything else is possible. Faith enables and empowers. With God’s grace and the power of the Spirit, man is able to see through God’s eyes and do things according to His wisdom and strength.

Today, through Martha’s witness, Jesus is making us realize that what we need is faith. He is telling us: "Our Father is with you. He knows exactly what you need, and He wants to give it to you. Trust him. Open your heart to him. Walk with Him and be not afraid, for all the world is His, and you are His very own special children.

She said to him, "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world."

Have faith in Jesus and obey His Word!

Heavenly Father, let me live my life in complete trust to your goodness. In Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Other Notes
Martha was a person who really loved people and wanted them to enjoy life. She was blessed with that kind of magnanimous, enthusiastic personality. When she heard Jesus was coming for a visit, she began the preparations for a banquet to end all banquets. It’s the way important people are meant to be treated. Notice: that is what Martha wanted to do. What she should have tried to find out was what Jesus expected or needed. Martha’s over exuberance was her first miscue.

Her mistake was the one often made by people overly anxious to please. They think of their service in terms of what they know that they can provide for the ones they hope to impress. But the charitable approach of successful people is to provide what would most satisfy their loved ones. But as soon as Martha realized time was running out and she would not be able to take care of all the chores she went to Jesus and asked: “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” Jesus responded: “Mary has chosen the better part.” Martha should have gotten the picture immediately. Leave the kitchen, forget the banquet and join with Mary at the feet of Christ. However, everyone finds it difficult to give up personal plans and cooperate with another’s.

Many times we become so comfortable with our ministries and find so much success in what we are doing that it’s impossible to give up even when we become incapacitated or too infirmed to continue. There is always the suspicion no one is qualified to replace us. Too often we stay so long that we begin to lose our effectiveness and even become a detriment to the entire enterprise. Have you ever noticed how often this happens with volunteers, even in parish settings?

It’s a blessing to have magnanimous and enthusiastic volunteers on your roster. And you pray that they’ll continue to be interested and cooperative in the communal expectations and needs. Then too, what a blessing it is when those people become aware they no longer have the energy or competence to continue and graciously bow out letting others take over.
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