Third Sunday Reflection: Come Follow Me
Franciscan Reflections from the Hermitage – Third Sunday In Ordinary Time – Year B – Mark 1:14-20
“Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men… the Kingdom of God has come, repent and believe the Good News”…For a moment think about what your response today is…”Come, follow me.”
REPENT…. metanoia… change your vantage point to move to a higher standard, a higher vantage point and so leave behind your obsessions, paranoia, addictions and intoxication with the separation brought about by power, prestige, possessions, indulgence, deceit and money … live according to the beatitudes of Jesus… making life Blessed and beautiful. “You have heard it said … but I tell you …”
BELIEVE … have confidence in Jesus as the Truth to know… Truth… being in a relationship with the Beloved… “Listen to Him”… you are Loved as the Image Bearer of Love… the imprint of the Beloved within you.
THE GOSPEL … good tidings of the Kingdom of God within us … Jesus, the universal exemplar fully revealed as our intended ultimate state of Being … the portrayal of our intrinsic dignity that resonates with the Book of Creation … Love that is the matrix of Life and our purpose of the Journey.
What was it about Jesus that led those first disciples to leave everything and follow him? … Jesus spoke with an authority that had integrity. As the eternal Word of God, having become flesh, the will and the act were and are a flawless continuous whole. What this Word says, IS… there is no maybe… it just IS.
This is the Word that becomes Incarnate in Jesus the Nazarene. His human integrity was flawless. Of Jesus, we could say that he was truly whole, integrated… one with himself…
something alive and active … cutting like any double-edged sword but more finely … slipping through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit… it judges the secret emotions and thoughts.
It is only by moving closer to the integrity of God’s Word can we also become whole, become integrated so that the will and the act also become seamless. Without such integrity, no one is capable of seeing and experiencing Truth.
Thus the Pharisees and the Scribes could not see the Christ even through the great works that he did. The Pharisees rebelled at the truth and sought to destroy him… while the tax collectors and prostitutes welcomed him and were saved.
There is none quite as self-righteous, vindictive and dangerous as those who subvert TRUTH for their purposes. This is the insidious nature of sarcasm that seeks to cut differently… to give pain, destroy the dignity of the other and reduce the vantage point … this is in direct opposition to the message of Jesus, the Christ.
Down to this day, many follow the idols of illusion that they have created for themselves. As St Chrysostom affirms “ … One living with a divided, seared, dead conscience that is not ready for the coming of the Lord.” The sin destroys both the perpetrator and the victim.
Millions of people today affirm that they are Christians and yet their lives look nothing like the Christ we are called to follow. They may have all the right public words and prayers, but they blaspheme by mocking Truth by their actions. When Jesus states that he is the TRUTH, he affirms that relationship through which we come to know not only who we are, but also the path that we are called to walk so that we may have life to the full.
Good people, we cannot teach our children that honesty, discipline, forgiveness, or that three arms of white Love are important if our own lives witness to the contrary. Children are very quick to spot a phoney and will judge the truth they are being taught by the integrity of the one who is teaching them.
And what about us? Do we welcome the truth? Has it touched us and transformed your life to become an integral part of who we are… who we are called to become!! TRUTH is a person …TRUTH is Jesus the Christ.
If you have ever fallen in love… looked into the eyes of a lover … found yourself delighted … transformed…Is this who I am? This is what an encounter with the Truth brings to you.
That is why Thomas Merton described our spiritual goal …to know the Truth…to love the Truth you know … and to act by the measure of that love.
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