Saint for the day: Francis de Sales (August 21, 1567 – December 28, 1622)
Hebrews 10:1-10 – Psalm 40 – Mark 3:31-35
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Today’s Alleluia Verse)
It’s natural for many of us to want to be with – or on the side of – popular movements because there is often some leadership character who seems to have an inside edge to something new and exciting. I think that Jesus was that kind of a person. You only have to read through the Gospels to see how easy it was for Him to draw large crowds almost wherever He went. But, being that He was God, He knew that it was important not to just follow Him because He seemed to have a pretty good handle on life and success. And, to this end, He worked hard to make sure that the people who were following Him understood what the issue was really all about. He seemed to know that there would come a time when some of His followers would take advantage of the draw His preaching had and use it for their own advancement.
We have to remember: Jesus did not come so that we would enjoy financial success or be able to drive around in fancy cars. All his preaching was centered on some sort of conversion in the lives of those who heard Him preach. And, his “bottom line” always draws us to that point of conversion where we are able to see in our own lives what needs to be converted or done away with. When we are able to deal with this issue in our own lives we are often able to see with new eyes what we are all about and what is most important to allow to happen to us personally. But this kind of “conversion” doesn’t just happen once or twice, but must be a continual part of our following of Jesus.
Notice I don’t make any mention of “prosperity” since I think that of all the “blessings” that Jesus talks about in His journey through the Gospels He never tells His followers that they will one day drive a fancy car and have a vacation home in Hawaii. The “100 Fold” that Jesus does talk about is measured in grace given so that we might more easily reach out to the poor and needy of our worlds and give them some measure of relief. When we are in sync with God in this way, the by-product is often in the form of a Blessing of Grace to continue our journey. The blessing and grace that I got just now came when this reflection that I was almost finished with “crashed!” My first thought was, “Lord, don’t let it be lost totally! And, as you can see… today’s reflection is still here and intact! Thank you Jesus. These are the kind of “blessings” that most of us need – and to which I am eternally thankful to my Lord and Savior, Jesus! Amen.