Franciscan Spirit Blog

Jesus’ Brief Ministry

Statue of Jesus with outstretched arm | Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

Jesus’ life can be divided into two parts. What is surprising is that, while he is the Son of God who came to redeem the world, he spent 90 percent of his life in the remote town of Nazareth. Only 10 percent or, at most, 30 months made up his public ministry, of preaching, healing, and teaching.

It is curious, too, that his headquarters was the town of Capernaum on the shore of the Sea of Galilee—not a bustling metropolis. Archeologists say there were no more that 1,000 to 1,500 inhabitants. In fact, it was so poor it did not even have its own synagogue.

As a result, there is a real lesson to be learned about our own lived experiences, and what might be important in our lives. People talk about making a mark on this earth. And, indeed, some do that with great political or economic power. Explorers in the past also did that by discovering new lands and trading routes.

We Do Not Walk Alone

Keep in mind the short time Jesus had to accomplish his mission on earth. Truth be told, his own life and short ministry remind us that the length of time is not the most important element of our journeys. We can say this because we do not walk alone. God is constantly with us.

One thing we believe is that God has a way of using us as “instruments of peace” to do good works. There are so many people who think that they accomplish very little on earth. There is nothing spectacular they can point to—no new medical breakthrough, no new piece of literature or work of art. But what about giving life to a single human being who has more value in the eyes of God than the entire universe?

The example of Jesus himself shows us that length of time is not of the essence. If we walk in faith and ask the Lord to use us as his instruments, then we can live our ordinary lives without working any miracles and simply trust that God will use us. If we have talents we think are miniscule, we must not forget what Jesus did in the little time he had. In fact, one percent of talent in God’s hands is beyond human estimation.

Remember how many words Mary spoke to become the Mother of God? One single word: “Yes.” One thing we have to remember, however, is that we may not even be aware of how the Lord uses us. God protects us from vanity, pride, and self-righteousness. That’s why our lives are lives of faith. And Mary always guides us to her son, Jesus.

A friend of mine suggests that we treat the name of Jesus in the Hail Mary like a speed bump: Slow down as you approach it, and speak it with care and attention. “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb … Jesus.” Let’s speak Jesus’s name with tender love at every Hail Mary in the rosary. Indeed, we should never neglect the power of Christ’s name—the only name under heaven by which we may hope in salvation (see Acts 4:12).

Here I Am, Lord

I believe that one of the eternal joys of heaven will occur when others come up to us and astound us with their words of gratitude for something we did for them. And we will be smiling at the surprised look on the faces of others when we offer our thanks to them.

In God’s hands, we cannot imagine what can be done in our lives. All we have to say is, “Here I am Lord. Use me.”

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6 thoughts on “Jesus’ Brief Ministry”

  1. Arlene B. Muller

    Beautiful! If we are being faithful to following Our LORD & allowing Him to make us His instruments, we can accomplish more good than we realize & hopefully we will learn more about the fruit of our labor (which often seems disappointingly less than our hopes & dreams while on earth) when we get to heaven.

  2. Great message! I never thought of how short Jesus’ ministry actual was but his message and of course salvation will last for eternity!

  3. Very good readin today. Thank you for the reminder to pause in the Hail Mary. I used to do that but have become lax. I remember the nuns teaching me to bow my head at the name of Jesus. I’ve always remembered that and when I’m the reader on Sunday and the name comes up, I bow. Standing befoe a crowd and doing that I actually feel proud I’d remembered. Thank you for reminding me of the “Speed Bump”.

  4. After a tough day and feeling alone while hubby snored on my heart lifted and sang out at the reminder that we truly do ‘Never Walk Alone’
    Such a timely reminder to this Liverpool lass that Jesus is right there beside us as we walk through every storm.
    Where we find Jesus we find Mary and vice versa.
    God Bless.

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