Daily Reflection for Friday, February 18 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
Reading 1: James 2:14-24, 26
Responsorial : Psalms 112:1-6
Gospel: Mark 8:34-9:1
Our reflection on Friday’s reading:
“… “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. Mark 8:34
In a series of daily devotions by Skip Moen titled “Words to Lead By,” Moen posits that Jesus has to be considered one of the most effective leaders of all time. Look at what Jesus accomplished in a relatively short time with a small group of common people.
Today’s readings suggest three things that demonstrate a desire to follow Jesus.
1. A deep commitment to become a servant leader. Mark 8:34
2. A willingness to be obedient to the Lord’s commands. Psalms 111:1
3. A desire to act. James 2:14
The gospel speaks to what a deep commitment looks like. Jesus says, I “must deny [myself], pickup [my] cross and follow Jesus.” Throughout his ministry, Jesus modeled his deep commitment to follow God’s will. So, it would seem that if I want to be a good leader, I must be a good follower. Though this seems paradoxical, there appears to be lots of hard evidence of Jesus following God’s will for his life.
“Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.” Psalms 112:1 Am I choosing wisely who or what to follow in my daily choices? Sadly, I allow myself to be drawn into what I want and desire rather than seeing what the Lord’s will for my life might be. Jesus demonstrated daily conversations with God. We are told that he made time to communicate with God in prayer daily. It is obvious that to delight in the Lord’s commands, I’ve got to do a better job seeking God’s will through prayer instead of relying on my selfish motives to guide me.
Finally, it is clear from the reading in James that a desire to act should be a natural outcome of a deep commitment to follow our Lord and his will rather than my own. “If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is [your faith]?” James 2:15-16. I reduce this to showing others that I care instead of telling them that I care.
Jesus gave us the model to be a servant leader, to do his Father’s will, and to act with grace, mercy and justice. Are you willing to lead like Jesus?