One Minute Reflection – 24 January – Thursday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Gospel Mark 3:7–12 and The Memorial of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church: Doctor Caritatis (Doctor of Charity) ‘The Gentle Christ of Geneva’
“…a great multitude, hearing all that he did, came to him.”…Mark 3:8
REFLECTION – “Why did the multitude come? What did they need? Whether this multitude went to Jesus out of “need” or because “some were curious”, the true reason is seen in the fact that this crowd was drawn by the Father, it was the Father that drew the crowd to Jesus. We read in the Gospel that ‘Jesus was moved, because He saw these people as sheep without a shepherd’. Therefore, the Father, through the Holy Spirit, draws people to Jesus.
The impure spirits try to impede; they wage war on us. Someone might object – Father, I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass…. But I never have these temptations, thank God! “No! Pray, because you are on the wrong path! because a Christian life without temptations is not Christian – it is ideological, it is gnostic but it is not Christian. When the Father draws people to Jesus, there is another who draws in the opposite way and wages war within you! Thus Saint Paul speaks of Christian life as a struggle – a struggle every day to win.
Therefore, all Christians must make this examination of conscience and ask themselves: “Do I feel this struggle in my heart?” This conflict between comfort or service to others, between having a little fun or praying and adoring the Father, between one thing and the other? Do I feel the will to do good, or is there something that stops me, turns me into an ascetic? And also, do I believe that my life moves Jesus’ heart? If I don’t believe this, I must pray a lot to believe it, so that He may grant me this grace. And we ask the Lord to make us Christians who know how to discern what is happening in our hearts and to choose well the path, through which the Father draws us to Jesus.”..Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 19 January 2017
PRAYER – Lord God, true light and creator of light, grant us the grace to see clearly by the light who is Light, Your only Son. Lead us in His path and send us Your Spirit. Grant us the strength to grow in holiness so that our struggle against the powers of darkness may we a victory over temptation. May the intercession of the master of spirituality, St Francis de Sales, help us and protect us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.