Commentary on the Gospel of
Today’s readings have a common theme of doing God’s will. In the reading from Hebrews we are told that God does not want the sacrifice of animals and burnt offerings from the time of the Old Testament. He sent his Son to do the Father’s will, to make the ultimate sacrifice, the sacrifice that will save all generations. By doing his Father’s will, Jesus made it possible for all of humanity to be consecrated “once for all.”
Although Jesus made it possible for us to be consecrated once and for all, we do not have a free pass to live as we wish, putting our own desires first. In the gospel of Mark, Jesus tells us that “whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” In place of sacrifices and burnt offerings, the sacrifice that we offer is the suffering and difficulty that are frequently part of living as God wills.
Sometimes the greatest difficulty for us is in the discernment between what we want God’s will to be for us versus what it really is. We still have a very human nature that seeks what is easy or comfortable and wants admiration, power and self-sufficiency. We can fool ourselves about God’s will if we fail to develop self-awareness and trust in God’s love for us. This can lead to confusion about what is real and what is self-deception.
I find a prayer of St Therese of Lisieux to be very helpful when I get caught up in mistrust of my ability to discern God’s will for me:
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be confident knowing that you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.