One of the important things we have to learn about the life of faith is being a ‘team player.’ By this I mean that we have to learn to trust that others will do whatever it is that God wants them to do and that we ought to concentrate on being faithful to our own life calling, whatever it may be. If all are faithful in living out the calls that God has placed upon our lives then all will be well; however, if one or more of us fail in our tasks, then there will be consequences for us all.

It is a bit like being the members of a research team where the jobs have been divided up among the members and each sent off to do their piece of research on the understanding that we will meet together sometime in the future to pool our work and hopefully solve the problem at hand. It is easy to see here that if even one person does not do their part adequately, then it is possible that the research of all of the others may come to nothing!

In today’s Gospel Jesus confirms that the roles of the disciples of John and His own disciples are different. This is not to say that certain aspects of these roles, such as fasting, may not change in the future, however, for the time being the key is that each is faithful to what God calls them to do. In the Church this is what Paul understands to be having a ‘body mentality.’ By this Paul recognizes that each member of the Body of Christ has been given specific gifts to be used for the building up of the Kingdom of God. Each one of us has a specific role to perform in this regard and we should always be aware that this ought to be a primary focus in our lives.

When we are trying to fulfill a particular role or task it may mean that we have to prioritize certain lifestyle commitments over other ones. There are times when we work or study particularly hard as deadlines or exams approach. This does not mean that we are saying that resting or ‘having a good time’ are bad things, but that at this time we have other priorities that we need to fulfill. Let us be flexible in the way that we approach our Christian commitments, not in order to justify being slack, but always in order to remain faithful to our particular calling at that time of our journey in faith.

How rigid am I in the way that I follow the Lord? Do I have the freedom to vary the ways and length of time I pray? Do I see God as someone who does not allow this sort of flexibility?

Lord Jesus, help me to grow in freedom to express myself in the way that I do things for you. I pray for the grace to be flexible in the way that I fulfill my commitments to the work of the Kingdom of so long as I do fulfill them! Help me to encourage others to express themselves more freely as well.