Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, February 4
With the Help of God’s Grace, May What First Appears to Be an Impossible Task Become a “Mission Possible” in Our Own Individual Walk of Faith.
Whenever I read the verses from today’s Gospel Reading, I am reminded of a TV thriller series which aired many years ago, and which ultimately became a series of movies, called “Mission Impossible”. The secret agent, or hero of the story if you wish to call him that, would be directed to a phone booth or some other improbable location to find a tape recording of a proposed “mission”. And then the tape recording would self-destruct after the agent listened to it.
I remember one short phrase from each recording, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it….” Needless to say, this secret agent would accept the impossible mission; and, in some superb but rather improbable Hollywood fashion, would accomplish his objective.
When Jesus gave His instructions to His disciples to become missionaries, carrying His Truth out into the world, I am sure some of them must have felt that this mission was very daunting at first, very overwhelming, maybe even a “mission impossible” of sorts. One can only imagine what went through the minds of the Apostles when our Lord sent them out “two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.”
Nevertheless, with faith, they went forth, preaching in the name of Jesus Christ and cured many who were sick – and the fruits of their accomplishments, all with the help of God’s grace, we enjoy today!
Each one of us, by virtue of our Baptism, is a member of the royal priesthood of Jesus Christ. We are called to be priests, prophets and kings. In other words, we are to be imitators of Christ in everything that we think, in everything we say and do. It is by the life that we live and it is by the example that we set which shows others the path to God’s Kingdom.
And yet, there are many Christians who find it uncomfortable to be a holy example for others, for there are many who are afraid of ridicule. There are many who shy away from the laughter and mockery which may come their way from those who have chosen to live a life in the shadows.
And many still do not understand this God of ours, and people oftentimes fear or shy away from what they do not understand.
And that is what our First Reading is reminding us today. The observance of the Mosaic covenant, in which God made His will known through His servant Moses, is shown to have originated, to a certain extent, with the Israelite people living out their lives in fear of their God, all the while failing to understand the depth of God’s Love for His children; and, because of their stubbornness and repeated misdeeds, they were reproached by the prophets time and time again with threats of Divine punishment!
Whereas, the covenant which we share in Christ gives us a much deeper and a much more profound understanding that this God whom we worship and adore is a God of infinite Love and unfathomable Mercy. Our God is a Loving Father, One who tirelessly reaches out to His lost sheep, inviting them back into the fold, for He wishes to lose none of His children to an eternity of damnation and darkness.
For those of us who are parents or grandparents, do we not try to do the same for those whom we love – gently guiding those who have wandered far away from doing what is right, by giving them sound advice and setting a good example, praying that they will not make the same mistakes that we may have made during our youthful years, praying that they will eventually turn back to God and embrace His ways?
God has given to each one of us, to both you and me, this most wondrous and incredible gift of life, along with the gift of free will which we enjoy. And by virtue of the fact that many have chosen to read this meditation on today’s Scriptures, we have also chosen to freely open our hearts to the gift of faith which our Lord continues to freely offer to each one of us, an offer to which I pray we have all responded with a heartfelt “yes”.
How we live our faith is how we say “thank you” for the Love which He holds for each of us, a Love which is beyond all human measure of understanding – a Love which fills us, and a Love which guides, strengthens and supports us as we travel together through this vale of tears on this side of the eternal. For it is one of the free-will choices we make in life.
And in this journey of life, upon which we find ourselves traveling each day, we are asked to imitate the Apostles in today’s Gospel. We are asked to become the extension of Christ in our lives as we reach out to those around us.
In our daily mission of life to which you and I have been called, we are each asked to reach out and give witness – to live God’s Truth, if not by words, then at least by example for others to see. For Jesus Himself said to His Apostles at the Last Supper, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Let us pray that Jesus may help each of us to patiently and joyfully live our faith in a way which serves His Divine will. And may He strengthen and give us courage, so that we may not shrink away from doing what is asked of us, from doing what is right.
With the help of God’s grace, always trusting in His Divine Presence within us, may what first appears to be an impossible task – become a “mission possible” in our own individual walk of faith, truly believing the words we read in today’s psalm and making them our own:
“O God, within your temple we ponder your steadfast love. Like your name, O God, your praise reaches the ends of the earth. Your right hand is fully victorious.” †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “You have not approached that which could be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them…No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant…” (Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a)
- “He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits…So they went off and preached repentance.” (Mark 6:7, 12)
- “For this is our God, whose people we are, God’s well-tended flock. Oh, that today you would hear his voice: Do not harden your hearts…” (Psalm 95:7-8a)
- “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd.” (John 10:16)
- “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
- “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain…” (John 15:16a)
- “Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)
- “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
- “I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, I have gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me.” (1 Samuel 15:20bc)
- “We ponder, O God, your mercy within your temple. Like your name, O God, so is your praise to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is fully victorious.” (Psalm 48:10-11)
Prayer for the Day
help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with Your Spirit and Love.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that all my life may only be a radiance of Yours.
“Shine through me and be so in me that every soulSaint Mother Teresa
I come in contact with may feel Your Presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus.
Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine,
so to shine as to be a light to others. Amen.”