YOU ARE NOT FAR FROM YOUR GOAL | Friday 3rd Week of Lent | Day 21

Everyone desires to know their progress as it boosts efficiency. Many ask me: how do I know I am closer to my desired goal? How do I track my progress. This may be your worries as well. You may have been praying and working hard on some projects and you don't know the impacts or your progress, but desire to know so that you may gingered to go ahead. Listen this message is for you. 
After 20 days of our 40-day Lenten observance, the Lord not only remind us how much progress we have made in our Lenten observance, he also teaches us something new that can improve our goal efficiency. If you wish to know how to track your progress, read slowly...
Mark 12:28-34
One of the scribes came up to Jesus and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’ Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him any more.
Generally, progress is tracked by feedback on the impressions made, and these impacts are comparisons of positive and negative impacts. I know you expected to see some ways to calculate your progress from the gospel but didn't find any. Now let me help you see it:
1. An evidence of the progress in Jesus' ministry is seen in this dialogue with one of the Jewish SCRIBES. Remember Jesus' greatest critics and haters are SCRIBES and PHARISEES. And Jesus would say that his target are the spiritually sick- sinners of which the scribes and pharisees are not exempted. Hence, Jesus would not claim to make great progress if his ministry does not touch the lives of his cruel enemies.
2. The scribe, like Nicodemus asks a question (question that he already knows the answer) not to trap or disparage Jesus this time as they usually do, otherwise the bible should have stated it. But he asked that he may have some moments to share the Word of God with Jesus because he admires Jesus' responses. His explanations after Jesus responded to his demand reveals this. And the central message of the sharing- love- reveals Christ have successfully touched the heart of this Scribe, for the heart is the seat of love! For this reason Jesus tells him: 'you are not far from the Kingdom of God.' Not far from the kingdom does not imply 'in the kingdom', which signifies that something more than knowledge of the law is required to enter the kingdom of God. He must live a life of love and witness to love to be in.
3. You cannot track your progress without feedbacks- and sometimes feedbacks such as that coming from those you don't expect! In fact, when positive feedbacks come from the camp of your critics or enemies, then know that you are not just making progress but very close to your desired goal. When David got a feedback from the camp of his enemy Saul, through his Son Jonathan, he knew nothing could stop him from his goal (1 Sam 19 - 20). And so as Jesus tells the scribe, I say to you: you are not far from your desired goal. Keep up the good work you are doing and don't waver or be distracted by haters.
TASK:  Since feedback is necessary to track progress, open your heart in humility to accept feedbacks, both positive and negative ones. Only by this you'll work on your weaknesses and improve on your strengths. This message is not only relevant for our spiritual lives but our entire lives.

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  1. May God give us the grace to be patient until the desired time in Jesus name.....amen.


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