There is a saying that says something like, “When you are on to a good thing, stick to it.” This is true, but when it comes to the Gospel, another dynamic also comes into play. This dynamic is inherent in the nature of the Gospel, namely, that it must be shared with others. The man who has been freed of all the devils wants to stay with Jesus for obvious reasons, however, Jesus wants him to go and share his blessings with his family and others in order that they too might hear the Good News and come to be His followers. A similar situation can be discerned with Mary Magdalene when she meets with Jesus after the resurrection (Jn 20:17) when Jesus tells her not to cling to Him but to go and tell the others that He has risen from the dead.

 

There is a tendency within us when we experience consolation in our spiritual lives to try to cling to the experience and make it last longer. This is wrong as the Jesus and not the experience must be our focus. The challenge for all of us is translate our experience into actions that will build up the Kingdom of God. This means we have to develop a certain selflessness of spirit regarding ourselves, which will allow us to gratefully accept any blessings or consolations that the Spirit might give, but not lose sight of the ultimate goal of bringing the Gospel to others.

 

There are times in our lives when we need to be refreshed in our spirits, a bit like a car needing to be regularly filled up at the gas station. A car is filled at the gas station so that it can go on running and doing its job. God fills our lives with the blessings and refreshment of the Holy Spirit so that we, too, can continue running the race. And the goal of our race is to proclaim the Gospel to all the nations!

 

Do I tend toward spiritual lethargy in my life or do I remain healthily focussed outward on the mission at hand. There is a time for relaxing and rest, but there is also a time for hard work and service. We all need a balance of these two.

 

Jesus, help me to be inspired by your seeming tirelessness in proclaiming the Good News. Give me a vision for evangelization that will give an outward focus to my life. Help me to put to death any spiritual lethargy in my life.