Monday, January 10, 2011

Today's Reflection: Are you willing to abandon everything for God? What does it really mean?

What caught my heart in today's gospel reading were the words. “they left” meaning "they abandoned." Simon and Andrew left their nets to follow Jesus. James and John did not only abandon their nets but left their father Zebedee with his hired men as they responded to the invitation of Jesus.

Sometime ago, we heard God's call to follow Him. Some of us may have instantaneously left (abandoned) our old lives and embraced our new lives in Christ. Others may have taken time in responding to God's call. Whatever the case may be, each one of us left (abandoned) something behind. We had to forsake whatever we had in exchange for what we believed will achieve the reason why we are in this world. We all realized that to reach our final destination we had to give up a lot. We learned that we had to die to our selves and open our hearts to what is Christ-like and allow the Spirit to take full control.

Responding to God and His call means we have to make a complete turnaround and discard our old ways. It means we should never re-consider going back to our old lives or even look back at them but continuously and incessantly work at what will bring us close to our God. It means seriously pursuing our ministry and being fruitful in the Lord's vineyard.

Unfortunately any activity, even the most religious and spiritual in nature, when marred by tension and major differences can numb souls and may cause one to seek spiritual refreshment. One may in time find a need for a fresh anointing from the Lord Who is always at work in creating a masterpiece out of us.

Amid any difficulty and pain, the temptation to abandon our relationship with God and His Church may be knocking in our hearts. The temptation to give up our work in community is so strong because we feel pain in our relationships. We may have placed our ministry/apostolate dependent on whether we will get what we want from a situation..

Are we going to give in to the enemy and allow our servanthood to be jeopardized by our self centeredness?

God is asking us to abandon all that we are and all that have caused us to experience coldness in our hearts. He is calling us to make a return to Him for all the good He has done for us. He is asking us to give our all to Him so that He may work on us and purify us and cleanse us of our sins, so that we be made heirs of all things and the refulgence of His glory and the very imprint of his being, so that at journey’s end we may take our place in the greatest banquet that awaits all of us at the right hand of our Lord!

With humble and contrite hearts and in the presence of all His people, let us take the cup of salvation and call upon the Name of the Lord.

Let us pay our vows to the Lord.

Let us abandon the evil one and offer our Lord a sacrifice of thanksgiving!

Let us offer Him a sacrifice of praise!

Let us abandon everything that is not of Christ as "This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the good news!"

Let us abandon our old lives, seek God and His will. Change for the better.

Heavenly Father, I offer You a sacrifice of praise as You give me the grace to abandon my old life and follow Jesus. Give the grace of transformation, so that I may be strong enough to abide by Him, in Whom I live and move and have my being. Amen.
[source: email]


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