3rd July – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)

At the end of today’s gospel passage, Jesus says: “Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit the-love-of-god1to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.” This should motivate us to seek the God of our salvation as our highest life priority. Here is a related reflection from Premier Christian Media by Dr Micha Jazz based on the scripture verse “Such people seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob” (Psalm 24:6)

It is in seeking God that we discover the ability of God to lead us through life with all of its twists and turns. We also find the inner capacity to live as God has called us to, and resist the contradictory life styles that the wider world offers us, as well as to turn down the constant head noise that so easily distracts us from our primary purpose.

The struggle is firstly determining to live as one with a pure heart and clean hands, and then finding the inner conviction to sustain that decision. One moment I can be focused and very vocal about my conviction to live for Christ alone. Then something or someone disturbs me and I begin to waver. Have I made the best decision? Will I be left stranded as everyone else secures their place in a lifeboat? Such wavering undermines my conviction and inside I panic, revisiting my decision-making while mentally looking to undo the decisions that brought me to this place.

This can only mean instability and creates misery for me. Instantly I compare my lot with other people, and find myself defined by the life choices of others. God has to remind me that I am to give account of MY life decisions, the good and the bad. I am to have courage to live out of my convictions and unashamedly explain these to others when they ask.

Contemporary society through numerous media outlets conveys a compelling message of what success and failure look like. Scripture equally does the same. The difference is in the mileage that separates the two.

QUESTION: Do you feel the tension between what you know God requires of you and the fear it will lead you away from other aspirations?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you said to ‘seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness’ (Matthew 6:33, ESV). Please help me to do just that.