Turn Around And See Something Tremendous

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As we have been saying that you and I are always searching for happiness; we have been made for it, and it takes place on many levels.  God wants to give us something even greater than happiness, something that money cannot buy.  Joy is a gift from God, and is fruit of the Holy Spirit.  Joy touches the deepest part of our soul; you were made for this.  When we live with joy it transforms us and the people around us, and can lead them to Christ.

Our Small Groups are have as their purpose a way to share our faith and grow in our relationship with Christ, and to support and care for one another.  It is difficult to get to know people when hundreds are present at a Mass, but in a small group we can get more personal.

Last week we heard Jesus asking his disciples and us, “What are you looking for?  What do you seek in life?”   He continues this week in Mark’s gospel (1: 14-20) to invite us to experience the Kingdom of God.  The time is here; it is now.  The kingdom is not a place but a presence or a power, and you can share in that today when you believe the preaching of the Good News.

The kingdom has arrived; it has happened. You only need to do one thing: repent.  It is not a word we like to hear but we interpret it incorrectly.  It means, “Why not change your mind!”  It is an invitation.  Jesus is inviting you to think differently and believe in the gospel.  Jesus is saying to you and me: turn your mind around from the way you think and define yourself and come to the mind of God.  Turn around and you will see something new.  The Greek word literally means ‘to turn’ for something tremendous has happened.  It is already accomplished.  You miss it because you persist in looking elsewhere.

What do you see when you turn around?  God is here.  His Son is in the flesh, in front of you.  He has arrived.  The awesome presence of the Savior is in our midst.  What has arrived is the majesty of God.  He comes with his Father and he gives us his Holy Spirit.  Don’t miss him!  The kingdom does not come with thunder and lightning.  He comes with soft steps.  He comes on a donkey with Joseph and Mary.  He comes with a soft step in the town of Nazareth, and now he quietly arrives in the desert.   This is why we need some moments of silence each day, a few minutes is a great help.

Another way of saying it is, “Why not change your mind about the Good News?”  Good News is that there is a God in heaven who loves you immensely, that he sent his Son to die for you, that his Spirit will remain with you and direct you, that no matter what you do wrong he never gives up on you, that he is not finished with you yet and wants to make you like himself, that life despite all its challenges can be lived with joy.  Why not change your mind about that?

Turn and see Him.  When our way of thinking changes so does our behavior and we can live according to the life of Christ.  God wants to enter your life more fully.  Today is a day to rejoice.  Now is your chance, begin a new way today. When there is a change and it is followed in a disciplined manner it leads to joy.

Ask yourselves honestly what do you believe in?  What do you put your trust in?  Often it is material things.  So turn around; meet your Savior, and your life will change, slowly but dramatically.  If we are honest with ourselves we need to admit that we have lived much of our life apart from joy.  You live in anxiety, worry, fear, frustration, anger, but not always in joy.  God wants you and me to live in peace, in joy, and it is a total gift.  Joy comes from God.  The world cannot give it to you.