These past four weeks the Gospels have come from St. Mark. In each of these Gospels, as with many others, Jesus is questioned, or tested, or sought out for something. However, Jesus does not directly come forth with an answer. He begins his response with a question back to those who approach Him. In my reflection for this week, I contemplated each of the questions Jesus asks. How would I answer Jesus? The interesting outcome was more questions and thoughts came to mind. My plan is to consider these questions and thoughts in my conversations with Him. Maybe you will have similar thoughts or questions. Place yourself in the Gospel. How would you answer Jesus?
“What did Moses command you?” (Mk 10:2-16 or 10:2-12)
There are rules and laws that although “legal” do not follow the teachings of Christ. Do we follow and support those laws? What “commands” do we follow that moves us away from God? Do I make commands that make it easier for me to exercise or justify my free will? Do we tell ourselves “Just this one time”, “No one will know”, “I’ll go to confession next week”? Do we make commands for others that move them away from God? Worse, do we make commands for ourselves and others that take us away from God?
How will I answer the question when Jesus asks: What do you command, John?
“Why do you call me good?” (Mk 10:17-30 or 10:17-27)
Why do we call Jesus “good”? He most certainly is, but do we call Him good because we consider all we do to be “good”? Do we consider my “good” better than the “good” of someone else?
At a recent workshop, Deacon Johnny Flores gave us an interesting consideration of the man in this Gospel: Picture the man running up to Jesus full of pride and kneeling before Him in a grand way declaring: “Good Master, what else must I do for eternal life? Commandments? Oh yeah! – I have been doing ALL THAT since my youth! I got this! I got this!”.
Jesus was not alone when the man approached and knelt before Him. His disciples would have witnessed this boastful display. Well, as we know, Jesus tells the man he was lacking one thing – sell what he had and give to the poor. However, recall that Jesus tells him to do something else: “Then come follow me”.
How will I answer Jesus when He asks me: John, why do you call me good? I love you for all the times you came to church, and reconciliation, and gave to the collections, but did you love others as I loved you? Did you then follow Me?
“What do you wish me to do for you?” (Mk 10:35-45 or 10:42-45)
Oh, how many times have I taken my wishes to God! I wished to win the lottery. I wished for my team to win. And why not? Are we not told in Psalm 37: “Find your delight in the LORD who will give you your heart’s desire”? Psalm 37 is absolutely true – if the desires of our hearts align with what God desires for us.
How will I answer Jesus when he asks: John, what to you wish me to do? Are you asking me to fulfil your free will? Do you remember the prayer I gave you?
“What do you want me to do for you?” (Mk 10:46-52)
The blind man refused to stop calling out. He refused to be kept from Jesus. He recognized that he needed – NO – he wanted a personal connection to Jesus. He recognized Jesus as the “Son of David”. The blind man “saw” Jesus for who He truly was because he had faith. And what did he do after Jesus gave him sight? He followed Jesus. Do we fervently seek Jesus? Do we have such faith?
How will I answer Jesus when He asks: John, what do you want me to do for you? Do you have the faith of the blind man? Will you follow me?
I pray we all continue to seek a personal relationship with Jesus, and have the faith to take all our questions, thoughts, and desires to Him. I pray we open our hearts and allow Him to love us, so we not only see Him as our Lord and Savior, but we also know Him as our Lord and Savior. It is then we will be told: “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”
John Trevino – Diaconate Candidate 2024