29 January, Saturday — Who’s da man?

Saturday of Week 3 in Ordinary Time

2 Sam 12:1-7,10-17
Mk 4:35-41

“You are the man…”

I call today’s gospel Jesus’ “Do you know who I am?” moment. Some of us have been there before — either as the young upstart or ‘newbie’ to a club/organisation/ministry putting our foot in our mouth, or as the seasoned person being ‘questioned/queried/challenged’; I know I have in my 30-plus-year career. In the past, I would huff and puff if I felt affronted, thinking “How dare this ‘so-and-so’ or ‘insignificant person’ question or challenge me?”

But over the past few months, where I have had to adapt to new leadership, I have taken on a ‘let them do/say/think what they feel is right in their eyes’ attitude. Whether this is compliance or obedience is up for argument. For me, I just sit back and wait for the outcome which I predict will happen to eventually happen, then I deal with the consequences.    

There are many people out there who like to ‘huff, puff and fluff’. And while some may be suitably impressed/enamoured, others will just ignore and be pushed away. These days, I simply let my actions do the talking. There is no point being all bluster and no substance, because people generally want to see outcomes. And while we certainly cannot command the weather, we do have it in us to affect and influence many other desirable outcomes in our everyday lives to change the perception (negative or otherwise) of others around us. At work, in ministry and even at home.

In today’s lingo, the utterance of Nathan in the first reading would be seen as a sign of admiration. But Nathan probably said it to David with a tone of righteous condemnation. Funny how the same words can take on very different meanings when applied to different situations. I would think some of the apostles would have uttered the same phrase as they witnessed Jesus commanding the wind. Then again, it probably wasn’t a ‘fashionable’ phrase in the time of Jesus. Instead, they asked themselves who this man was that they were following.

Brothers and sisters, how many times have we stood in awe and admired someone, thinking “This is someone I will give my life for and will follow — ‘You’re the maannnn!!’” And how many times have we stepped aside after witnessing an undesirable outcome as a result of poor leadership, saying “You’re the man who led/directed/guided/urged……” In either situation, the choice ultimately falls on us. So let us not be too quick to pour scorn on others when we find ourselves in hapless situations; rather, let us look into our hearts to discern why we decide(d) to follow ________.    

(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you coax, cajole and carry us through life, knowing that we will stumble and fall; that we will be led astray by others who have ulterior motives. Give us the wisdom and patience to truly discern who we are following on our journeys so that are ultimately led back to you. 

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for giving us the free will to choose our own destinies, and for always giving us chance after chance to come back to you when we falter.

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