for Sunday, July 19, 2015
You and I are called to draw others to faith in Jesus Christ. You and I
are expected to know what that faith means in our own lives and to let that
faith touch the lives of others in such a way that they also will want to
believe. This desire to share with others our faith in Jesus is at the
heart of the teachings of our readings today.
The Prophet Jeremiah, in the first reading today, is clear that we must
never mislead others. Perhaps this has made us not want to share our faith
because of the fear of sharing incorrectly. For most of us, however, it is
not this fear of sharing incorrectly that stifles our desire to share our
faith. Rather, it is a lack of interest at times or a sense that religion
is a truly private affair or simply that I don't have much faith.
Sometimes we point to our leaders, as in the reading from the Prophet
Jeremiah. It is their fault! This is truly a distraction from our own
faith in Jesus. Surely we want good leaders. Yes, we need to point out
bad leaders. Yet, deep within us, you and I are responsible for our faith
and we must learn to live it that way.
The Letter to the Ephesians, the second reading today, reminds us that
Jesus came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those
who were near. Jesus preaches to all of us, not just to the leaders of
religion! Jesus is calling each one of us, not just the leaders. Let us
open our ears and our hearts and respond to Him.
The Gospel of Mark today points out that even Jesus got tired of the
constant crush of people. He suggests to his close followers that they go
off and pray, but when they arrived to the place where they hoped to pray,
the people had arrived before them. For anyone in ministry today, this
scene evokes a reality that happens regularly. Just when a person thinks
that he or she will have a little time for themselves for prayer or reading
or relaxing, something comes up and takes away that lovely thought and
replaces it with a concrete need to minister!
Today then we want to reflect in our hearts on these realities. God calls
each one of us. Some are leaders but all are called to be faithful.
Following Jesus and doing His will may often take away the comfortable
aspects of our lives. We are called to respond to all who ask us, not just
to those who leave us comfortable in our response. How quickly our world
would change if all of us who follow Christ would preach in His name and be
faithful to all that He asks of us!
May it be so!
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Jeremiah 23.1-6
Second Reading: Ephesians 2.13-18
Gospel: Mark 6.30-34
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: