Thursday in the Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

There are three tasks we must do every day in life: we must decide what to believe, how to behave, and what to care about. Our readings today are clearly about the importance of what we care about.

Mark began his gospel by telling us that we need to understand what is important to us. Things have importance for us because they make a difference and the difference is important. All the gospels tell us that Jesus Christ makes a difference.

When we know what we care about we guide ourselves in relation to it. It guides what we do with our life. We think about it a lot and we make ourselves vulnerable to losing it and open to sharing its benefits. The Letter of James describes how we do that with things of the world. Such things get their importance for us from how they make us feel; their effect on us. So they are pursued and our lives become a chain of sequenced events with no theme or structure to it. There is no end we are living toward.

Jesus, on the contrary, tells us there is something so important to the ordering of our lives that it is to be preferred to our hand, our foot, and our eye. In other words, we are to care about it. We are to care about it MOST! It is the end that we are living toward.

Jesus knows that our toughest life struggle is between what we believe and how we behave. A discrepancy between them reveals what we really care about. Jesus came to tell us that, like Himself, we should care most about the Father; God is Love.

That is our key to the struggle: What we care about (i.e. what we love) unites what we know to the will to do it.