Christ has called us to “follow Him”, this was and still is a call to a journey to live our lives for God and God alone. We are truly called to “lose” ourselves in order to “find” Him (and ourselves as well). It is a calling to empty ourselves so that we might be filled with God. To contain the very “fullness of His Joy.” This great journey is a process of allowing God to fill us with the very Mystery of opening our eyes, heart, and mind to the fullness of the first and most important commandment: “To love god with our whole heart, mind, and soul and our neighbor as ourselves.”

“As soon as I believed that there was a God, I understood that I could do nothing else but live only for him. My vocation came at the very same time as my faith, God is so great! There is such a vast difference between God and all that is not him….

Surrounded by Pharisees, Sadduces and Scribes who were continually questioning Him it was as though He waited for the most important question of the day: “Which commandment is the first and primary of all?”

The crowd falls silent, you could hear the breathing of the listeners; “Hear, O Israel: the Lord your God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your soul, and with ALL your mind, and with ALL your strength” (Mark 12:29-30).

Silence, dead silence as Jesus took a breathe and continued: “And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment great than these.”  (31)

A Scribe breaks the silence: “You are right, Teacher: you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’” (32)

I wonder if for a moment we might imagine that this scribe is a spokesperson for many people. People who have searched and searched for God and yet not found Him. People of other faiths, people of no faith, people who have been exposed to twisted, inauthentic faith. People who believe “he is one and besides him there is no other.” If we do then I think the Lord’s next words are even more impacting: “You are not far from the Kingdom of God” (Mark 12:34).

With this one answer Jesus is challenging this scribe with his own faith. Jesus is calling him to a greater commitment.

“For me, everything is overshadowed by the happiness of knowing that God is God, by the thanksgiving for his great glory”

I can hear the Lord Jesus as he stresses the word “all.” With “all” my heart, with “all” my soul, with “all” my spirit, with “all” my strength”

Yes, my God, with “all” myself, “all” my desires, “all” my faith, I recognize you, I adore you, I give you “all” my thanks. “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

As I live before this invisible God, I must keep my eyes open. Open to all that the splendors of His creation and of His humanity will reveal to me.

Here in front of me is this beautiful green sea, the white sand and the blue sky. The big white fluffy clouds float silently over head. There in a glance, a smile, a nod, an act of kindness; are not all of these a glorious reflection of Your Divinity that surrounds me.

“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” All that is needed is your recognition, your awareness, your attention. Can you hear in the midst of the noise?

Sometimes Lord, you are so quiet and yet so loud, all at the same time. I get so distracted in the things I can see and hear that I cannot see and hear that which cries from beyond or from within.

I do love you. All of you!

Lent is a time to remove everything else but our love for HIM!

Every time I open a window or a door, I am ecstatic when I see the mountain peaks that surround me and which I oversee. It is a marvelous sight and a scene of truly beautiful solitude. How good it makes me feel in this great calm and beautiful, yet tormented and strange, scene to lift up my heart toward the Creator and the Savior, Jesus!