Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
Luke 9:57 - 62
Jesus’ image of not looking back when you are ploughing is archaic, but still can inform us today. A man needs to be in good physical shape to plough a furrow in a field with a hand plough. Similarly, I need to be spiritually fit in order to engage in the kingdom of God. Like physical fitness, spiritual fitness is an ongoing process – I need to exercise and work out my spiritual muscles through prayer, scripture reading, and works of mercy on a daily basis. Unlike physical fitness, spiritual fitness is not indicated by muscle mass , skeletal flexibility or cardio endurance. Instead, spiritual fitness is available even to one who is bed-ridden, measured by how aligned one is with the Truth and Love of God our Father, by active belief in receiving the salvation and the healing of Christ Jesus, and by openness of heart to the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God. Like someone guiding a plough through a field behind an ox, I need to keep my focus on God and his ways, to be fully engaged in the working out of his Kingdom on earth. Should I become distracted and look behind, if I were handling a plough, I would run the risk of making the furrow crooked, or, worse still, upending the plough and breaking some bones, as well as wood and iron; looking behind spiritually at the vanities and worries of the world, can result in my faith being upended, my hope broken, and my love becoming twisted. But if I am fit physically, and focussed on the task at hand, I can physically plough a row for planting, no matter how rough the terrain; and if I am in shape spiritually, I will have the strength, and the self-discipline, to focus on the true Light of God and his Kingdom, and steadily turn my back on disorienting attachments and enmeshments with the world. Am I persevering with my spiritual fitness program in order to truly engage in the Kingdom of God? Holy Spirit of God, help me be fit for your Kingdom.
O send forth your light and your truth; let these be my guide. (Psalm 43:3)
The duty of the moment is what you should be doing at any given time, in whatever place God has put you.
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Soli ad gloriam Dei
Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.