Day 35 – Keeping a Distance




We should humbly accept that we are still far away from our Father's Heart, like the two brothers in the parable. We have, to different extents, deviated from the right path. We are all in some forms of a distant country. Whether we like it or not, we are all like the elder and the younger sons in different ways. Aren't we stubborn and tied up by our bad habits and attitudes, wrong beliefs, prejudices and judgments, and deviated behaviours and actions? Our images are disfigured by our sins, and we have lost our original beauty given to us by Our Creator. Our potentials are locked up as a result and we all have some work to do.

Our journey home is like taking a road trip. First of all, we need to know our destination. We also need to know where we are right now. GPS does not work without start and end points. Likewise for our life's GPS! We also need to know our desired arrival time to know whether we have time to stop over at certain places. You may ask, "If I don’t know how much time I have on earth, how would I know the arrival time?" That is very true. But the key point is that we want to arrive well ahead of time.

The Kingdom of God is what we are called to build on earth. And whenever we have established the Kingdom of God in our hearts, we are home with the Father, which is the Father’s will for us. That is our destination for this pilgrimage on earth.

Once we know our destination, our current position, and when we want to arrive, the rest is simple mathematics. We can easily calculate the speed required to get us there in time. There are many among us who believe that we still have lots of time. There is no big rush! But if you look around, especially during this pandemic, you know this assumption is wrong. Besides, none of us know when Jesus will return for the Last Judgement. Let us not take any chances. It is not worth the risk.

As mentioned in a previous reflection, in His short three years of public ministry, Jesus had a lot to accomplish to fulfill His mission on earth. Unless Jesus remained focused, His mission would not have been accomplished in time.

Like Jesus, we need to stay on course and remain focused on what we are called to accomplish in our lives —— to bring ourselves and more people back to the Father's House. This is our common mission regardless of our stages in life.

Just as Jesus sent two apostles ahead of Him to prepare for the Passover before His Passion, we are also called to prepare the way of the Lord, for ourselves and for others. We all have a role to play in this "Holy Week" of our lives. We can be like Peter, who followed Jesus at a distance, close enough to watch like a bystander, yet far enough not to be identified and caught. While this comfort zone seemed to offer him safety, it had in fact put Peter into a dangerous position to be tempted by the Devil to deny and walk away from Jesus whenever he was confronted. Spiritually, we need to be prepared ahead of time before sufferings and persecutions come our way. Otherwise, when all these strike, we will be like sheep without a shepherd. Scared and scattered, we will all become deserters like Peter and the other disciples.

While Jesus has promised to prepare a place for us in the Father's house, He has entrusted us with a role similar to the role of John the Baptist in His time, "A voice of one crying out in the desert, 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'"

(Matthew 3:3)

That is hard work, no doubt! Reward is great too! Let us remind ourselves that there is no shortcut to Heaven. To be a deserter or to be a faithful follower, the choice is ours to make.


If you have been taking a wait-and-see approach in committing yourself to this journey home, would you consider making a radical change during this Holy Week?

Do you believe that you still have lots of time left and there is no rush? If so, why are you so sure?

Do you find yourself resisting changes in life even though you know those changes are good for you?


Dear Jesus, I know I have forsaken You numerous times in my life. I have kept a distance from You. I want to keep myself safe from any criticisms and persecutions as a result of my identity as Your follower. Like Peter, I acted against my own will. My will and my flesh are so weak. Like Your apostles and disciples, I also left You and fled. How I have hurt You, Lord! I turned my face away from You when You looked out for me. I watched You suffer and ridiculed at a distance. O my Lord, grant me the strength and courage to be like Your mother, to be by Your side always, to never forsake You, even when troubles and persecutions come my way. This I ask the Father in Your holy name. Amen!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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