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At His Feet
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"At His Feet: The Heel of Zeal" (Part Two)

 

"For this purpose have I come"

(Mk. 1:38B)

 

          Zealous love seeks the good of others. When zeal "is intense, then, it impels the one who loves to act against anything that might impede" its purpose: (St. Thomas Aquinas, quoted in Jesus Living in Mary, p. 1273). Jesus stands fully-focused in the footgear of zeal: Fully occupied with the Father, and hence, fully occupied with the Father's perfect will for him. In the first chapter of The Gospel of St. Mark, we witness Jesus after a day of full, intense kingdom ministry:

 

"Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place; [There he was absorbed in prayer] (N.A.B., 1970 translation of Mk. 1:35). Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, "Everyone is looking for you". He told them, "Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come"

(Mk. 1:35-38).

 

Jesus is a man "absorbed"!: He is possessed exclusively by God, and preoccupied with the desire to please the Father in all things. In the passage above, Jesus' response to Simon Peter reveals both how attached he is to the Father--and how detached he is from vanity and personal glory (It reveals his heart of zeal): "But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name" (Jn. 12:27). What a temptation it can be to revisit, to return to, yesterday's "manna"--the place of yesterday's victory--in order to stroke one' ego--to glorify self. Everything that Jesus does is done to glorify the Father! A zealous heart seeks to glorify God alone, and  never chooses the "easy way" over the "narrow way". Everything in the earthly life of Jesus is oriented towards the "hour" of his offering on the cross for our sins. For intercessors, zeal is kept alive by the uncompromising choice of, and love of, both the Father and the cross:

 

"The whole of Jesus' life was an offering to the Father, "whose will he perfectly accomplished in all things. His prayer must have been the expression of this offering and the renewal of his obedience"

(Days of the Lord, Vol. V; p. 50).  

 

          When Jesus predicts his passion for the first time to his disciples, Peter tries to prevent him from going to Jerusalem to die: "God forbid Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you" (Mt. 16:22). Immediately Jesus responds, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do" (Mt. 16:23). How imperative it is for intercessors to not only have a "heart of holy fire", but also to have the mind of Christ at all times: "Be renewed in the spirit of your minds" (Eph. 4:23); and, "Brothers, stop being childish in your thinking…in your thinking be mature" (1 Cor. 14.:20).  At the "feet of Jesus", we learn the wisdom and power of his "ground offensive": The cross! At the "foot" of the cross, we see the way that Jesus "reigns" as he subjects "everything under his feet" (1 Cor. 15:27) for Love of the Father! St. Paul, sometime after his own conversion, writes of this love, wisdom and power:

 

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world"

(Gal. 6:14-15).

 

          In Genesis 3:15, after the "fall" of Adam and Eve, God declares to the serpent: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers" (Gen. 3:15). There is an element of enmity--deep-seated hatred--inherent to holy, Godly zeal; for, Satan is an obstacle to God's perfect will. A true intercessor always loves the human sinner yet hates the sin, seeks the good of the other and hates evil. The passage continues: "He will strike at your head while you strike at his heel" (Gen. 3:15). Again we notice the focus on "the lowest place" where a humble, holy "heel of Zeal" is to "crush Satan under your feet" (Rom. 16:20). Zeal for the salvation of souls will lead intercessors into a "ground assault" against the enemy of our souls. Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Mary know how to form us as a potent "heel of zeal"--"foot" soldiers of salvation, faithful unto death.  Through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, intercessors share in the "Incarnational ardor" of Jesus, the "passionate pulse" of the Lamb of God in the world: "For the love of Christ impels us" (2 Cor. 5: 14A). "Zeal thrusts us to continuous, tireless, and courageous commitment to the Reign of God in our world" (Jesus Living in Mary. "Zeal", A. Rum-Mary Frith; p., 1279).             

 

 

Questions:

1) Is there an area of  personal weakness or a habit of sin that keeps me from being more zealous for souls?

2) Where in my life do my thoughts need more discipline?         

 

Scriptures:

Any scripture in the teaching text; Is. 59:15B-17; Jn. 18:37; 2 Cor. 10: 4-5; Rev. 19:11-16

 

"TWO-ZERO-ONE-SEVEN, TIME TO STORM HEAVEN"

 

 

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