"MY FATHER'S BUSINESS"
POOR Mary and Joseph! Imagine how they felt when they could not find 12 year old Jesus at the end of an exhausting trip to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem. Because they had traveled with a host of relatives and friends they didnt miss Jesus until they were one day into their way home to Nazareth after the holy holiday. And travel at this time in history was a slow and tedious process. They had to retrace their steps back to Jerusalem only to spend three more days looking for Jesus within that city. Frantically searching they found Him in a temple sitting among the teachers of Jewish law both listening and asking them questions that astounded these learned scholars.
AND so Mary said to Jesus, Son, why have you done this to us! Your father and I have looked for you anxiously. And He said to them, Why is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about My Fathers business? (Luke2: 49)
TODAY, over two thousand years later, it is our turn to carry out this mission, our turn to be about the Fathers business. If we have dedicated our lives to being a Christian, we also have the responsibility as co-heirs to take up our mantles of discipleship and spread the word in the corner of our world. We cannot shrink back and hide and expect to reap the fruits of suffering and martyrdom of early believers. We, too, must take responsibility in the Fathers business.
HOW can we do this as sons and daughters of the living God? We can spread His word to all who are willing to listen. If we can expect to enjoy what early Christians gave we must be willing to sow the seeds of faith wherever we are and keep the family business alive and well. Jesus told us in Matt 28:19-20) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. This is the legacy given to us as God's children.
WE offer ourselves in total supplication to God, begging Him to mold us in the way we need to be; changing our hearts and filling them with love for the brothers and sisters we see on our paths to eternal glory, loving those who are unlovable just a little bit more, helping them dream the dream that Jesus loves them and wants them to share in His kingdom as equal heirs. There will be many surprises when we reach Gods heavenly home for there will be those we thought would not make it, those who seemed undesirable in this life but God Who knows all, can see what men cannot see for He is able to read the hearts of us all.
GOD'S early Christians fearlessly paid a high price in spreading the gospel. Most of us are not required to pay this charge. And yet we cringe or are ashamed of our beliefs and serve in secret the faith those before us gave their lives to perpetuate. How easy it is today, so easy in fact that some are inclined to pass up Gods offer to believe in His Son and receive His salvation. We must remember we are riding on the foundation of all the prophets, with the Bible backing us up. If today as Christians, we are laughed at and ridiculed for our beliefs this is okay for if people did such cruelty to Jesus, the Son of God, shouldnt we expect to pay some small price also?
This life is short, therefore we do not have time to squander and waste on frivolities. We cannot spend the precious moments of this brief journey on things that take us away from our Fathers business. Sometimes it is hard to see beyond the refuse life lays in our paths. As Christians we accept such things as temporary roadblocks, knowing that the Father has his own plans for us. We place our trust in Him. We must do what we can while there is still time, while there is still breath in us, sharing what God gave to us, knowing that the Father will bless us with His special grace to see us through.
THE mission Christ commanded is not for clergy only; it is for all who believe in Him. As modern day disciples of our Lord, Jesus Christ, we Catholic Christians must be about our Fathers business saying, Here I am, Lord. Use me for your glorification. Let those who see us find within our characters a peace that can only come from you and jealously seek it for themselves.
NO one said it would be easy to be a Christian. Many of us have stood on the bridge of uncertainty and doubt. We have been torn between the now of this earth and the forever promised. Sometimes we get weary and many times do not understand why so many bad things come our way especially when we are striving to be like Jesus. It shakes our faith somehow. We feel it is an impossible climb to reach the level of obedience God requires of us and we think we cannot reach that pinnacle of perfection. Well, God understands and that is why he forgives and climbs that mountain with us. Sometimes we get tired and discouraged when we pray and there doesnt seem to be an answer. We feel abandoned and afraid; adrift on the waves of sin that plagues the world. And yes, we are sometimes tempted to forego our charge to keep the word of God and go our own way. But because we know what we know about the Father we cannot be entirely happy moving away from the safety of His wings. We cannot have peace in our souls without Him in our lives, and so we come back with humble and contrite spirits when we realize that the only good that is good has to come from our Fathers Hands. It becomes clear to us when we realize that God is our stronghold and therefore things can only come out right if He is in control.
WITHOUT God, there is a void that nothing and nobody can do anything about. Only the Father can pour the oil of content on our discontent. Only God can put out the fire of rage and anger we sometimes feel by giving us the living water that quenches all fire and thirst. Only God can fill us when we are hungry by giving to us His everlasting food called grace. Only the faith in Jesus Christ our Savior can give us the hope that we will rise again and live forever in glory, just as He did over two thousand years ago, never again to suffer the ills and pains of this imperfect life, never to grow old and infirm, and never again to shed an impotent tear. We shall then be privileged to see the face of God in awesome splendor and never tire of its wonder. And so, Catholic Christians, we have hope. The Father sent His Son Jesus Christ our Lord to shed his blood for us, to die for us, in order to make us eternal heirs to His eternal Kingdom. And to heed the command of the Son as He rose to be with our Father to keep our Fathers business alive and flourishing by spreading His Word.
THERE will be those who will not understand. There will be those who will not want to know the means to salvation. There are those who will be blind to truth. Those souls we will pray for, asking Gods mercy, knowing we are using the greatest and most powerful tool ever given to man. And if we encounter those who ask why we are so strong in our faith when we talk about God and Eternity, we can truly say as Jesus said when He was only 12 years old I must be about my Fathers business.
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