Oh, how the first reading spoke to me today:
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel . . . .”
How often do I leave Mass or a Bible study or just a deep conversation with a friend with my heart of fire and my faith renewed, only to quickly be caught back up in materialism and the pleasures of this world? Though I know with my whole being that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, how easily I am distracted by the shiny, shallow, fleeting things of this world. Lord, please take this fickleness from me so that I can follow your Son without ceasing.
“. . . there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. . . .”
I am not worried about those who try to teach me a different Gospel, I am worried that I am myself an example of a false Gospel. Do those who know me know Christ through my actions, my words, and my joy? Or do they think Christianity is about something else altogether—judgment or hate or sorrow—because of me? Do they see a disciple or a hypocrite when they see me? Most of all, do they see Christ?
“. . . For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ . . . ”
I seek to please God, but I also look for the approval of others. What a much needed reminder that too often God and man are at odds and that I should seek nothing but Him.
Did these words speak to you too? Did they highlight your failings as they did mine? If so, I have good news for you. Having our faults pointed out to us is a blessing because we can start anew and use this self-knowledge to guard ourselves from these poisonous influences.
Today is a new day; today we can begin again. We can fill ourselves with the Word of God, turn our backs on all false Gospels, and walk in the Way of Him Who is the Way. Lord, guide our steps.
Mandi Richards is a wife, mother, and cheese lover who calls Raleigh, North Carolina home. You can find out more about her here.