Monday, September 09, 2013

Walk with Jesus, Abound in Thanksgiving

By Beth DeCristofaro

Brothers and sisters:  As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.  See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to the tradition of men, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:6-8)

Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles (Luke 6:12)

O Lord, My God, Help me to withdraw to you in prayer so often that when I cannot find solitude I will know your presence within and your way before me.  Help me also to shed the bonds of this world, attentive to the needs of your beloved children around me but not seduced by false promises and idols.

According to the footnotes in the NAB, Luke draws attention to Jesus’ relation to His Father by showing Jesus withdrawing in prayer at important times such as before naming the Apostles.  In these instances Luke shows us that in spending time with God we might follow Paul’s beautiful exhortation:  "Be rooted in Christ, walk in Him, abound in thanksgiving in Him…"
Jesus’ ministry also shows us the Gospel of the streets whereby we can walk with Him as He heals, frees, forgives, saves.  By spending time with the homeless, those with mental illness and addictions, by responding with loving truth to gossipers, misguided, racists, the people who denigrate God and the faith, or the angry among us who sow discord we can root ourselves in Jesus rather than being captivated with the world’s philosophy.  Certainly the Twelve were asked by their beloved Jesus to move beyond their cultural and religious comfort zones into a God zone. So too are we.  And in doing so we will find our level of discomfort or intolerance moving into acceptance of God’s presence rather than status quo and relative morality.  And we will find ourselves more readily sharing a heart full of thanksgiving.


Practice “withdrawing” with God by stilling our own voice and listening the next time we are tempted to take out our IPad or smartphone.  Practice “withdrawing” with God the next time a conversation is veering into conflict or validation of empty human principals.  

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