Friday of the 5th week of Lent

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your mind.” The task of loving the Lord with all our mind is not easy; it takes incredible discipline. We would need to have our minds fixed entirely on him. The first reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah and the Psalm Response echo the challenges we face in keeping our minds fixed on Jesus. As Jeremiah spoke the word of God to the people, the people got increasingly irate towards his teaching. They beat him, ridiculed him, and tried to kill him several times. The trials he endured became the Book of Lamentations. Regardless of what he faced, his mind was fixed on God and doing God’s will. The things he endured was as nothing compared to fidelity to God.

Another great example of a few people whose minds were fixed on Jesus is Sts. Perpetua and Felicity. These two women are 2nd century saints and martyrs. Perpetua and Felicity were women who converted to Christianity in a time when being a Christian was basically a death sentence. Their fathers, mothers, and friends all tried to convince them to renounce their faith, but no one prevailed. The crime of being a Christian meant a sentence of either a gladiators match or being fed to the lions. Perpetua endured both. The Romans threw her in with the lions. As soon as the fight began, she blacked out. Eventually coming to her senses again, she rose from the match realizing that everyone else had died and she survived. So she walked away and continued to live her life. Perpetua is an example of a person whose mind is entirely fixed on God. If you would like to read the full story of the martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity, follow this link ( http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0324.htm )

Keeping our minds fixed on God is not an easy task. Like Jeremiah and Perpetua we are constantly plagued with cares, concerns, and wandering thoughts. Yet we focus on them and cause them to become distractions. They do not need to be distractions. Like those who were sick in the Gospels, they brought their cares and concerns to Jesus and let him solve their problems. Each of the major things in our lives need to be brought before God so that each and every part of our lives has its origin and source in God. The route in simple, the task hard. We focus on God and let everything else center around him.

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