A NEW BEGINNING
(reflections by Willy Effinger*)
In Chapter 10 of Mark’s Gospel (verses 35-45), we read about James and John, the sons of Zebedee as they approached Jesus. “Master,” they said, “we want you to do us a favour.” He said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” They answered, “Allow us to sit, one at Your right hand and the other at Your left in Your glory.” You see, my dear friends, at the outset of the apostles’ journey, they were no different than any of us. They were full of pride, jealousy, selfishness, cynicism and they were hungry for personal power. They, like most of mankind, tried to look out for their own interests, putting others down so that they might get to the top. James and John must have been picked by Christ to point out to us precisely these weaknesses, to show us the wrong that results from such behaviour. By the way, I think that it is fair to say that Christ’s choice of His apostles was awesome. At the outset, His chosen ones looked like an unrefined bunch of individuals, but on closer inspection, we see that each one had a special character trait or weakness that was used to teach us lessons about ourselves.
I am reminded of another twilight story about the sons of Thunder when
they went to
It is good for us to recall that the apostles, before the Holy Spirit descended upon them at Pentecost, were quarreling among themselves quite often. Who would be first? Who would sit closest to the Father? Who would dare speak in the Lord’s name when they do not belong to us? We should take note that, in those days, they were not exactly the best of examples! After that glorious time of enlightenment by the power of the Holy Spirit, there was a sudden change. In the first Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, verse 14, we read, “These all continued with one accord…and they were in prayer and supplication.” All their pride and stubbornness had gone; all prejudice fell by the way side.
As children of the living God, as apostles of Divine Mercy, it our duty to remove the “log” from our eyes, so that there is no barrier within us to see our way clearly. Our hearts should become a little bit of Heaven to others. Reverend Father George Kosicki once told me that I must empty my head of the world before my heart can be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit within our hearts, we will be less likely to comment on the speck in our neighbour’s eye. As we change ourselves, slowly but surely, the world around us will also change. Let us delight and rejoice in each other!
In the fourth Chapter of the first letter of John, we read, “If a man says I love God and hates his brother, he is a liar, for if he loves not his brother whom he sees, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” This is indeed the “million-dollar” question for us, my dear friends in Christ. Let us reflect on the little poem below and let today be a new beginning for a brighter tomorrow!
If the whole world followed you
Followed you to the letter
Tell me, if it followed you,
Would the world be better?
* Willy Effinger is the founder and administrator of the Canadian Divine Mercy Centre & Apostolate