The Secret of Life
The First Ever Guide to Eucharistic Consecration
This isn’t just another book. It’s an invitation to participate in a sacred journey—a spiritual pilgrimage.
And he went up into the hills, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons: Simon whom he surnamed Peter; James the son of Zeb´edee and John the brother of James, whom he surnamed Bo-aner´ges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
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The Secret of Life
I got this little exercise I do when I go out to speak. I try to summarize what I'm going to say in 10 words or less. I challenge myself to do this because I know if I can work out with clarity what I want to say in 10 words or less, then my chances of communicating a message with clarity to a crowd increases exponentially. Last year I went to Minneapolis to give a speech and I was working on, "What was I going to talk about? What were going to be the bullet points?" And I was doing my 10-word exercise and I think I sort of discovered the secret of life that day. And secret of life, I think, is to want the right things. "Want the right thing," four words. It's the best I've ever done, I think. Four words, summarize a whole speech in four words. "Want the right things." I really do think that is the secret of life. I think when our lives are moving in the right direction, we want the right things. When our lives go off the rail, we trace it back to, "Where did that start?" It started by wanting the wrong things. And the word today in today's gospel leads to that.
Today's reading is from Mark again, chapter 3 verses 13 to 19. And Jesus went up into the hills and he called to him those whom he desired. And they came to him. And he appointed 12 to be with him. And he sent them out to preach, gave him authority to cast their demons. Simon, whom he surnamed Peter, James, the son of Zebedee, and John, the brother of James, whom he surnamed Boanerges. That is Sons of Thunder. Andrew and Philip and Bartholomew and Matthew and Thomas and James, the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, and Simon, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him. Remember, we're looking for a word, a phrasal idea. Lots of things here, lots of names, right? Whenever you hear all these names in the Scriptures, it's easy to think, "Oh, it's all those names again." It's easy to tune out. Don't do that. Don't do that. Just keep one thing in mind. It's very, very important. You see all these names? Why? Proof. Proof of what? Proof that these things took place in history. Particular place, particular time, particular people. Okay, not just a figment of Christian imagination, not just fiction, not just something that somebody made up. That's why the authors, they keep naming specific people, specific places, specific times to help us to understand, to realize, and to never forget. These things took place at a particular moment in history. And that the story of Jesus is not just a story. It's not just a figment of Christian imagination, that it is a historic event, that he is a historic person.
Maybe the word you picked up today is betrayed. It's the second last word. It's just sort of right there at the end of the reading. Maybe you're being betrayed. Maybe someone's betrayed you. Maybe you're dealing with trying to work through betrayal and overcome betrayal. It's so easy to be blindsided in this world. It's so easy to be betrayed in this world because we're all broken, we're all human, and we all betray ourselves at times. And so it's only a natural consequence extension of that that we betray others. But what's interesting here is the word desired. Jesus desired that these be the 12. "What do you desire? What are you desiring in your life right now?" Comes back to what we started with. Want the right things. Desire the right things because desire is powerful, powerful in our lives. It's a powerful engine. It's a powerful motive. It's powerful direction. It's a powerful force in our lives. Whatever you place your desire on, it's going to have a powerful effect in your life. And so today, take some time, reflect upon, "What is it that you want? What are you wanting? Are you wanting the right things at this time in your life?" You've placed your powerful desire on the right things. And if you haven't, how do you extract your desire from those things and place your desire on things that will lead to rich, beautiful, abundant, faithful future? God bless you. Have an amazing day. Something wonderful is about to happen. Remember, don't just be yourself. Be the very best version of yourself, all that God created you to be.