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Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary
… picking the heads of grain. (Luke 6:1)
Whether it was plucking grain on the Sabbath, talking to outcasts, or performing miracles, Jesus’ disciples often “stood out like sore thumbs.” “Why couldn’t they just be normal?” many of the Pharisees probably wondered. But there was no avoiding it. It seems that whenever we follow Jesus, we end up doing and saying things that don’t seem normal to the people around us. And that can be a good thing. Realizing that we are called to something different can help us to live out our response to Jesus more confidently.
Let’s take joy, for example. Scriptures call us to rejoice on a daily basis. Yes, some days are certainly easier than others, but joy has always been a trademark of Christ’s followers. It’s not an emotion based on circumstances or something that we can fake; it comes from having the Holy Spirit, who pours grace into our lives.
What about mercy? Countless Christians have found the grace to forgive people who have hurt them, even in situations that many have considered unforgivable. Just like joy, however, the ability to extend mercy, sometimes in the midst of deep personal pain, only comes from the work of grace in our hearts.
The use of our time may also seem unusual. Going to Mass, spending time in prayer, or even reading this meditation is a reflection of a heart that longs to draw near to Christ. It shows that we are prioritizing our walk with the Lord by making room for him, even in the busyness of everyday life.
Recognizing these differences is not about developing a “holier than thou” attitude. It’s about discipleship. If we know we are called to be joyous, we will try to resist complaining. When we know that we are called to be merciful, we will make an extra effort to forgive. And yes, we will be more inclined to “waste” our time on the Lord when we know that it is not simply out of habit but out of a desire to grow more deeply in our relationship with Jesus.
Today, ask the Lord for more grace to follow him. Tell him that you don’t mind being seen as a bit different or quirky, as long as you can glorify him.
“Jesus, I will follow you wherever you lead.”
Psalm 54:3-4, 6, 8
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