Our Highest Priority

Thursday of Week 12 in Ordinary Time

After all his instruction of the crowd, Jesus reminds them that it is not enough to know what God wants of us. We have above all to act on this knowledge in a manner that shows a willingness to do God’s will. And yet actions that are not rooted fundamentally in intimacy with the heart and mind of God are no more than an empty show, a going through the motions. Parents and teachers for instance can tell whether or not their children and their students are putting their heart and soul into their tasks. There is a visible manifestation of joy, a lightness of heart that accompanies actions done in freedom and sincerity. And if other people can pick up whether or not our actions are chosen freely and sincerely, how much more can God witness whether or not we embrace our discipleship in freedom and sincerity?

Every so often someone will tell me about a challenging situation and then ask me what I would have them do. I know I cannot make other people’s choices for them, so I help them see the options before them, perhaps offering guidance where I see favorable and unfavorable details, but still leaving the final decision to them. Sometimes this will frustrate them, so seeking the easy way out, they might ask me to “just tell them what to do.” No, no. I will not contribute to anyone’s excuse when they have to stand accountable before God. “Father said I could. Father told me it was okay. Father told me not to worry about anything.” Well, Father did not twist your arm either. And Father will not be responsible for the choices you make. Life was so much easier when we just had to do what we were told. It meant we would never knowingly or freely do anything wrong.

Building your house on a foundation of solid rock means anchoring your faith in the awesome God whom you must know and love. But how will you love One whom you do not know? And how will you accomplish the will of One whom you have never encountered? When all you do is go through the motions of obeying God’s will, you don’t need to have an intimate friendship or relationship with God whose will you claim you desire to accomplish. That intimacy with God is more important than just checking off a list of religious tasks on a clipboard. Not everyone who says to me “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

Encounter God. Listen for his voice. Discern his will. And act on it.

This mass was celebrated for the repose of +Sean Wolf.

Rolo B Castillo © 2020

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