Living a Christian Life for God’s People
Jesus "had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way" but sin, so that he could live his human life for us by being "tested through what he suffered" and thus "be able to help those who are being tested." The above striking message of today’s first reading expresses in words what today’s gospel illustrates in actions as we see Jesus reaching out, praying and caring for, curing, driving out demons from, and preaching the Good News of God’s kingdom to God’s people. This biblical and liturgical coherence is supplemented by the psalm’s refrain, which reminds us that "the Lord remembers his covenant forever," the covenant he made with "the descendants of Abraham" and all the peoples who thank "the Lord, invoke his name, [and] make known among the nations his deeds."
As I reflected on the above message of today’s liturgical readings, I could not help reflecting on some quotes from Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who used to say that, "unless a life is lived for others, it is not worthwhile." We know that, like Jesus, Mother Teresa’s missionary work of charity speaks stronger than her words. She lived a life that has become a life-giving legacy of love for others. Just as Jesus did, she put into practice whatever she preached to the world. She used to say: "If we pray, we will believe; if we believe, we will love; if we love, we will serve." This is exactly what goes on in Mark’s Gospel today, for we see God’s healing and liberating power being manifested in and through Jesus’ praying for, believing in, loving, and serving God’s people.
The above actions are humanly and spiritually required to give a strong and valid witness to Jesus’ gospel of love, because the gospel is all about being faithful to Jesus’ teachings on prayer, faith, hope, love, and service. Like Jesus, Mother Teresa, and many other genuine Christian witnesses, we are called to make known among others God’s love, justice, and mercy by being inclusive and nonjudgmental, as we go about proclaiming and inculturating the gospel throughout the many places we find ourselves in. Let us, therefore, meditate and reflect on the importance of praying to God, believing in God, loving and serving God as we go about reaching out to others and living a worthwhile life in Christ.
Source to find Mother Teresa’s quotes: http://thinkexist.com/quotes/mother_teresa_of_calcutta/
Fr. Alfredo Ocampo, C.P. gives retreats and parish missions. He is stationed at Holy Name Passionist Community in Houston, Texas.