What Do You Want Me To Do For You?
This is the question Jesus poses to the blind man, Bar Timeus. (Mark 10:46-52) This question has also been asked of me on any retreat in which I have ever participated. The online retreat that I began yesterday began in the same way with that same question. I have had different answers to that question each time it has been asked. Sometimes, like Bar Timeus, I have wanted to see. I have asked Jesus to remove my spiritual blindness. The very first time Jesus asked me that question, I knew the answer immediately; I wanted him to break through the numbness I had felt for over 14 years. This numbness was a result of the terrible sins I had committed in my years away from Christ and his Church. Hearing Jesus ask, through his priest, "What do you want me to do for you?", I knew my repentance was the only way to God's healing mercy.
So here the question is again as I begin another Lent. What do I want Jesus to do for me? Now, I shouldn't be looking to what Jesus can do for me-he already did the most amazing thing he could do; he suffered, died and rose for me. But in hearing his question, I hear his asking me for my faith and friendship because in the things God does for me, I in turn use those gifts to serve him.
This may sound a bit strange but my Lent this year is very much connected to my Advent and Christmas. During this past Advent and Christmas season, I asked Jesus what he wanted for his birthday. The answer came very clearly one night during my hour of Eucharistic Adoration; "I want your complete surrender." He meant it! He wanted everything. Now as Lent begins, I see that I have yet to completely fulfill Jesus' birthday request . I also see more clearly the ways in which I am to surrender myself completely. Our Lord has allowed me to see that I still hold on to things and people that are not beneficial to my life with and in him. It is in this realization that I have arrived at the answer to this question once again. I want the grace, the strength and the courage to let go of the unhealthy things and people in my life that come between Jesus and me.
This no small prayer! And it has been answered, albeit painfully. I have been holding onto a friendship that has run it's course. A few weeks ago that friendship ended. Sad as this is, it needed to happen. The pruning and stripping never feels good, but it is necessary if I am to grow spiritually. Lent is the perfect time for this.
I have come to realize that whenever I hear Jesus ask,"What do you want me to do for you?,that the answer will usually involve a sacrifice on my part. The sacrifice always draws me closer to him. As I continue my journey through this holy season, I pray that I will cooperate with the grace that God gives so that in dying to myself, I will rejoice in his rising at Easter.
As you begin your own Lenten journey, hear Jesus ask you this question. What do you want him to do for you? It isn't selfish because it requires great faith and humility to answer him honestly and it will draw you closer to him.
I pray that you have your best Lent ever~one that will lead you to the most joyous Easter.