Gospel Meditation

 “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do.” What were the works that Jesus did? Miracles, sometimes, but what were the essence of these miracles? Caring for the sick, comforting the sorrowful, feeding the hungry … much of Jesus’ ministry was spent in carrying out what we call the works of mercy. But he did more than that; he also preached and publicly shared the good news, he fostered fellowship and community, and he prayed. All of this makes a kind of plan of action for us as Christians. As Jesus says today, if we truly believe in him, we will follow in his footsteps and do these same things.

What this all suggests is that belief itself—having faith, being Christian—is only part of the picture. Jesus expects us to take this faith and put it into concrete, practical action. Apparently this goes hand in hand with real faith. If actions don’t follow, then faith is not being lived to its fullest.

This of course presents a real challenge. Our lives are busy and our plates are full, just with the tasks and demands of daily existence. It can seem like a burden to serve others, to share the Gospel, to be actively involved in a faith community, to find time to pray. But these are meant to be priorities for true disciples of Christ. And as many will testify, when we sincerely ask God to help us get our priorities in order, he has a way of miraculously multiplying our time. Somehow, we find the opportunities right before us to follow God’s will and bring our faith to life. That simple prayer of asking for help may be where we need to start. The first step is not so much to fill our calendar as to fill our hearts, or just to pray that God will fill our hearts, with the desire to “do the works” of Jesus.

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