People rarely seriously complain about having to do something they know it is their duty to do. Yes, there are some who do, but hopefully they are in a very small minority. However, when it comes to doing things that are above and beyond the call of duty, then we are probably all liable to complain at least now and then! One of the most impressive things about the life of Mary is that she seems to almost embrace her call as a duty. Wow! Is there anything we can complain about given that we not been asked to do anything as significant or seemingly impossible as this?! I think not; at least not with any good excuse!

Jesus also demonstrates not just an extraordinary level of obedience but selflessness as well when he dies on the cross to free us from our sins. We have no excuse when it comes to trying to argue our way out responding to such an enormous grace. How can we be so selfish that we would not consider at least a few acts of selflessness and self-sacrifice par for the course of a life of discipleship of Jesus? If you can think of an excuse for me, please let me know!

The next time we find doing something for someone else difficult or a chore, we should reflect upon what Jesus has done for us. I think we will find that our procrastination will be very difficult to justify and that we should just get on with doing what it is, deep down, we know we should be doing out of love for the person(s). This is where reflecting upon the lives of the saints can also be very helpful, because, generally speaking, they lived lives similar to that of Jesus and when reflecting upon their lives we cannot excuse ourselves from their example, as they are not divine like Jesus is.

We are generally very good at looking for excuses to avoid certain duties and optional sacrifices in our lives. Let us use some of that energy to be more proactive and do these things without making a fuss. I think we will be pleased with the result!

Are there duties in my life that I am not fulfilling faithfully? How can I turn this lack of faithfulness around?

Jesus, help me to open my heart more fully to the graces you give, particularly those that will help me to be faithful to my duties as your disciple.