When You Don't Know God's Will
Gospel Reflection for January 8, 2024
“And this is what he proclaimed: ‘One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.’
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’” (Mark 1:7-11 NABRE)
We may sometimes question what our purpose is in life. Every so often, amidst going about our days, following our schedules and routines, and living out our busy lives, we have moments wherein we wonder about our purpose. We frequently get caught up in the day-to-day, and forget about the bigger picture.
We may ask: Am I fulfilling God’s will for my life? What is the significance of these seemingly trivial tasks I carry out? Does my life really matter in the big scheme of things? What’s my God-given purpose?
These are some heavy questions that can sometimes overwhelm and consume us with worry, discouragement, and confusion. Our thoughts may lead us to thinking, “if I don’t know God’s will for my life, then I must be a disappointment to God” or “my life must not have a purpose.” Unfortunately, it is so easy to go down this rabbit hole.
Yet, today’s Gospel exemplifies what each and every single one of us is called to do. We are called, like John the Baptist, to proclaim the Good News, the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are called to share Love Himself with others. And this can be done in so many ways!
Though each of us most definitely has a distinct God-given purpose for our life that we are called to understand and live out, we are also all called to love others and to help others find Jesus.
By imitating our Lord Jesus and sharing the love and light of God with others, we can spread the Gospel through example. Further, we can talk to our family and friends about our faith, we can pray and fast for others, we can volunteer our time, service, and resources, or we can perform our monotonous tasks with joy and thanksgiving and offer up the merits for the conversion of sinners. There are so many ways we can each live out our faith in every moment.
So, if you ever doubt your purpose or are confused about God’s will for your life, remember that though it may take time for the details to be revealed to you, by simply sharing God’s love with others, you are already fulfilling the Lord’s command and will.
“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” (John 13:34)
And as you strive to live for God, proclaim the Gospel, love others, and grow in relationship with the Lord, God’s will for your life will become more evident to you. But it is important to remember that God loves you regardless.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
So, like John the Baptist, may we recognize our important role of loving others and of spreading the Good News!