Monday, February 8, 2010

To give God something once in a while (Monday, Week V in Ordinary Time, Mark 6:53-56)

After making the crossing to the other side of the sea,Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaretand tied up there. As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him. They scurried about the surrounding country and began to bring in the sick on matsto wherever they heard he was. Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered,they laid the sick in the marketplacesand begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed.

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No sooner had Jesus landed on the other side of the lake than once again he was surrounded by crowds. Just sometimes he must have looked on the crowds with a certain wistfulness, because there was hardly a person in them who had not come to get something out of him. They came to get. They came with their insistent demands. They came—to put it bluntly—to use him. What a difference it would have made, if among these crowds, there had been some few who came to give and not to get. In a way, it is natural that we should come to Jesus to get things from him, for there are so many things that he alone can give; but it is always shameful to take everything and to give nothing in return, and yet it is very characteristic of human nature. If we examine ourselves, we are all, to some extent, guilty of treating God in such manner from time to time. It would perhaps give him tremendous joy if on certain occasions, we come to him, not so much to ask something for ourselves, but to simply offer him our love, our service, and our devotion.

"The Kingdom of Heaven is a condition of the heart." (Friedrich Nietzsche)