“Rise, get up, and let us be on our way. See, my betrayer is here.” Mark 14:x.
Our Lord has agonized in the garden, and decided to do the Father’s will. Peter, James, and John are sound asleep under the tree.
How often have we done that at the very moment when God called us, when he was passing by?
Fortunately, the Lord is undeterred, he is resolved … he will carry the cross. The sign of mercy, forgiveness, and reconcilliation.
The Lord sees Peter, James, & john asleep, Judas coming around the bend with the mob of soldiers and what does he say? “rise…
Nothing short of the sacrifice of the cross will do. Period.
We must leave our places of comfort and peace and go forth into the world. No indifference, no mediocrity allowed. Sacrifice required.
A call to more intense, to more radical discipleship. We resolve to follow after him anywhere he leads us. The resolutions must be concrete, tangible, and real.
Told a great story about his first meeting with a new spiritual director … “I want to be holy… THEN WHAT”.
Sometimes we take on things in our life that make it difficult to achieve the big things that we say that we want to do.
What must be done in me before I can do what God calls me to do? First, we must submit ourselves completely to God’s divine providence. Then, we must joyfully and willingly carry our crosses.
All the things we do must be rooted in a radical interior transformation.
Otherwise, we will always be in tension with God, our neighbors, and ourselves.
We must always be searching for his will, always be submitting to it willingly.
“In the encounter with Christ, every man discovers the mystery of his own life. Man fully alive is only so in relationship with Christ” – JP2
That is, without Christ no human being can understand themselves without the reality of Jesus Christ.
The Father sent the Son to do his will, and the Son does so freely and willingly. That is the model for our own response to Jesus Christ.
To know Christ is to know his Father, to see Christ and to know his life is to be drawn into the life of the Father.
What more do we want than what God has already done for us? We struggle with the basics just as the apostles did. Jesus is the only thing that is real, all is else is passing, or only has meaning in him.
Yet Christ is there to bring us peace, to bring us comfort. We must entirely abandon ourselves to him in order to receive this peace, this comfort.
Matthew 16: “… who do people say that I am? … You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God…”
Our answer to this question will come from our intimate contact with him, from time spent with Christ.
Therefore, we must submit to God’s will.
Submission to God’s will is more than doing, it’s a whole way of being. God’s will for us is that we be saved, to know love and serve him, that spend eternity from Him.
At some level it makes no sense, to simply give back to him the very life that he gave us. All we have to do is to enter into that gift which has already been given to use, which has already been done for us.
Yet we forget the reality of Christ right there in front of us.
Faith is a gift of life, a gift from God, but it requires something of us … we must respond.
Our response must be a full consent, a gift of our lives back … full submission to God and His Church.
We must also be men of hope, and men of love … love as revealed on the cross.
We must begin by practicing virtue daily, from there we will become aware of God daily … practice the presence of God.
Then we can live in the world detached from all that swirls around us. This can be done not because we don’t care, but because we know that whatever happens will be His perfect will.
This will involve the cross, it will involve sacrifice.
What will change in our lives? Lent is 10 days away. What will we do?
Stop talking … we must do, we must let God’s grace do what He intends, and that beings by putting ourselves into his hands.
Little by little we will be configured to his will in this manner.
Our Lord began and ended his public ministry by enduring temptation, and in doing so he is saying yes to God. This is something that we must do every, single day.
Not just the big moments, but we must start with the little battles. These little sacrifices, daily practiced, prepare us for the big ones when they are asked of us.
Dying with Christ in order that we can rise with Him. Look at the example of St. Maximillian Kolbe.
Our lives must be like this as well.
When we submit to God’s will and embrace our crosses daily, we are open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to do whatever he prompts us to do.
Our model in this is St. Joseph – his example helps us to understand that it is only by complete submission to the will of God that we can become effective workers in the kingdom of God.
This will mean that anything accomplished will be done entirely by the grace of God. This is how the transformation of the world will be accomplished.
Rise, and let us be on our way.