There are many memorable memes on the internet of how people fail at essential tasks. Some are quite funny. Some are sad, but still funny. Typically, when the caption reads “Nailed It!,” it depicts the exact opposite of a job well done. And when the caption reads, “You had ONE job!,” it depicts an obvious failure that incomprehensibly escaped whoever was responsible for the completion of that task. Google “You had ONE job!” and you will entertain yourself for hours on end.
Jesus tells Peter, “What concern of it is yours …? You follow me.” Nosey parker. Perhaps Jesus was referring to the kind of natural interest we have in what other people are up to that’s more intrusive and obstructive than helpful for their own discipleship. True, we need to be an influence for good. But we are not responsible for the choices other people make. God will hold each of us accountable for our own words and actions. The gospel writer, who identifies himself as that disciple whom Jesus loved, did influence many generations of Christian believers because he set his thoughts and memories of Jesus down in writing. Perhaps we need to reflect on our enduring impact on others, those we know and love, and complete strangers, even those we have never met. If we focus on following Jesus as he instructed us, we can be more intentional about being good examples to others of faithful discipleship. Although it matters not who is watching, we know someone is watching, whether young people or our peers or our elders, and certainly God. We will impact the lives of others. We need to be more intentional about being a positive influence in the world and in the lives of the people around us.
The reading from Acts of the Apostles brings Paul’s ministry to a close. He has appealed to the Emperor and is now under house arrest in Rome. Although his ministry is limited, it has not ended. He continued to welcome those who came to him and proclaim the Kingdom of God and teach about Jesus Christ. Our own ministries are limited by the quarantine. But we cannot hang up our spurs. It is our ONE JOB. Yes, we need to reinvent ourselves and explore new avenues. When we emerge from this darkness, many things will be different. We won’t just be able to pick up where we left off. We might not be running at full speed right now. But if we’re at least keeping pace, walking quickly, jogging along, we can pick up momentum instead of starting from a full stop. You have ONE JOB. Don’t mess this up. And mind your own beeswax.
This mass was offered for the repose of +Gilda & Stephen Puzio.
Rolo B Castillo © 2020