Tuesday, 16th Week in Ordinary Time
I came across this remarkable prayer from a book: Lord God, I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty; let me have all things, let me have nothing. Amen.
That prayer may appear to some as an expression of purely passive spirituality. But come to think of it: How could you defeat a person who could truly pray that prayer?
It is said that the world’s most popular prayer is: “Thy will be changed.” If we are going to honestly examine our ‘prayers’, it seems that most of them are meant to ‘change’ God’s will for us. Change it according to our own wills and desires; change it based on our own plans and projects; change it to cater to our own needs and wants. That is the world’s most popular prayer. But the world’s greatest prayer is, “Thy will be done.”
Jesus, in today’s gospel passage, says, “Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” The Lord is telling us that what matters to him is not blood relationship but the bond created by doing the Father’s will – just as he always does. It is clear that, for Jesus, love is expressed by the union of wills.
We are called to constant conversion. This was once again mentioned in yesterday’s gospel when it talks about “the sign of Jonah.” Conversion is basically a shift from being self-centered to being God-centered, from doing our own will to doing God’s will: from building our own kingdom of wealth, power, and honor to building God’s kingdom of peace, justice, and love… from aggressively pursuing our own plans and projects to faithfully following God’s purposes… from being caught up in our worldly wants and desires to being captivated by the gospel values… from working on our selfish interests and ambitions to participating in the life and mission of Christ… from dominating and taking advantage of others to humbly serving our sisters and brothers. With God’s love and mercy, let us make that shift in our life. We are called to surrender ourselves to God’s will.