“The Kingdom of God is at hand, for you.” This phrase of wisdom and encouragement is cited over 88 times in the Holy Scriptures. It has deep meaning and serves as a powerful reminder that Christ is inviting us to respond to the Gospel with a resounding, “yes.” It is easy to put off our faith and wait for another day, a better time in our life, but the truth is, now is the time to start deepening and developing a relationship with God.

My favorite quote comes from St. John Paul II is, “the future begins today.” So often, we wait and wait to change or adjust our life in a way that is more in line with the Gospel. We can easily fall victim to thinking that the precious gift of time is ours to manipulate and use to our liking, yet we do not know the hours or days we have left to serve the Lord.

Without faith we are like a blind mouse, running from one earthly desire to the next, from espresso to decorating, work to workout classes, leaving our heart so distracted by the pleasures of the world that it can keep us busy from sunup to sundown. Yet, the more we seek earthly pleasure, the more we end up feeling empty on the inside and longing for more. When we place ourselves at the center of our lives, we do not experience the true gift of growing in gratitude for all that God has provided and do not learn to encounter the Lord throughout our day.

Without faith, motherhood lacks true meaning; we don’t have the roadmap to understanding our true purpose in mothering and raising children. Our God is a loving and good God, Who desires to shower us with His love if we are willing to open our hearts to it and share it with others. Without the fuel of faith, we lack what it takes to be a great mom.

He wants to fill us with His love so that we can spread it to others. He wants to forgive us for our sins; he longs to heal our broken hearts and restore all that seems lost when we walk away from His plan. Jesus is a God who knows what it is like to be human, and yet, he has never sinned and is entirely God.

This marvelous mystery reminds each of us that Jesus is indeed “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” leading us to eternal life!

Jesus longs to show us the world from His perspective, and he wants us to come to understand what is important to Him and see the world differently. Instead of thinking about what we want or desire in the material world, we can begin to strive to bring the immaterial world of heaven here to earth. How do we think like Jesus, love like Jesus, act like Jesus? We come to experience this through daily prayer, reading and meditating on Holy Scripture, staying close to the Sacraments and living a life rooted in forgiveness and Christian service. Small steps of faith can make a big difference.

I recall when my kids were little, I thought I was “too busy” to pray each day. Of course, I would beg God for what I needed, but I was always serving my family, so why would I pray? I now see how silly that was.  If I had simply started my day in prayer, with an attitude of gratitude, and meditated on the daily Scripture readings, I would have received other graces and gained a better perspective on where I was in life.

As we journey through life, we have to take steps that lead us closer to Christ. These little daily steps or acts can include taming our tempers, calming our nerves through prayer, learning to trust in Jesus even when life is difficult and taking in less of this culture so we can better live out our faith.

When we see the darkness creeping in, we need to stay focused on the light. Do not let the darkness take away from your “shine”, do not be overwhelmed by the state of the world, rather seek to change it through prayer, holy acts of kindness, and good deeds out of love of God. We are called to bear witness to God’s love through our deeds, words, and prayers, and this begins in the home. On this day, who do you need to forgive? For whom do you need to pray?  From whom do you need to seek forgiveness? What is the Lord inviting you to do to better live out your faith? Remember, we need to be rooted in prayer to hear the Lord, experience His peace, love and joy, and stay connected to the source of all graces!

*This article was also published at www.CatholicMom.com.