M.Y.O.B; Mind Your Own Bussiness!

Our modern society must be one of the nosiest groups of people in history. We have talk radio shows, gossip columns, tabloid and people magazines, soap operas, “reality TV” shows, etc. It seems like we mind everyone’s business but our own. While our society peers into everyone else’s lives, our own lives are falling apart. Our own marriages deteriorate due to neglect, unfaithfulness, and unforgiveness. Children are running around unsupervised and fall in with the wrong crowd. As a result, teen smoking, drinking, drug abuse, fornication, and abortion are rampant. Our own lives fall apart as we turn to substances, entertainment, compulsions, and escapism for fleeting solace.

In today’s gospel reading Jesus shows us something integral for spiritual growth, namely, we need to “mind our own business!” That doesn’t mean we are to be aloof and uncaring, but rather, that we don’t get so entangled and distracted in the comings and goings of others that we fail to attend to the business of our own salvation. The words Jesus used are very important, because they embody the necessity of appropriate decision making. He says, “What concern is it of yours?”  That is a question we must frequently ask ourselves, and with the grace of His Holy Spirit we should discern the appropriate answer.

What is our business? Jesus makes this clear: “Your business is to follow Me”. We follow Jesus by doing what He has commanded us: putting our own houses in order, loving our spouses, raising our children in godliness, loving one another, forgiving all who hurt us, etc. While Peter and John were both called as disciples of Jesus, each was given a different task or function. When Peter questions John’s role, Jesus retorts: “What is that to you?  Follow me!” Peter’s given task was to “shepherd the sheep of Christ”, and in the end to die for Christ. John’s role was preeminently to witness to Christ and to give his testimony to the gospel. John lived to long age and wrote the gospel as his testimony to the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. John ends his gospel with an astonishing remark: “Human books cannot exhaust the person and work of Jesus Christ.” His power is inexhaustible, his grace is limitless, his wisdom unfathomable, his triumphs are innumerable and his love is unquenchable. We can never say enough of the power, majesty and glory which belong to him alone.

Why do we often compare ourselves with others? Do we envy those who seem more fortunate than ourselves? Why did Peter question Jesus about John’s future? Jesus had predicted that Peter was to suffer and die as a martyr for his faith. What would John’s fate be? Jesus seems to indicate that John would live a long life – in fact he outlived all the other apostles. It is very easy to understand Peter’s concern for his friend in this passage then, but Jesus asks Peter to enter even more deeply into this friendship. This simple teaching has a direct bearing on how we live our own lives.  Consider how a parent loves a child, and loves all his or her children, and wishes only the very best for each one whether the child sees what a parent asks as an act of love or not.  The child must learn to trust absolutely, even when it seems to go against the grain. In much the same way, there are times when our love of Christ must take precedence over our earthly loves, trusting that Christ can not only heal what seems to be a breach in our friendships but can actually bring about a much greater union because of our trust in Him. If we are going to follow Jesus to His Father’s house, the Way leads through the cross and a death to our human life and values…

Tomorrow is the great feast of Pentecost. Our business is to “receive the Holy Spirit” .

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One Response

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