Lent Day 30 – Beyond the Mind You Have

by Bishop Robert Barron

Jesus begins his ministry by saying, “This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Good News!” (Mark 1:15).

A new order has broken in—that’s what the reign of God means. Something new has emerged in Jesus himself and it amounts to a new way of ordering things.

Now what do we have to do?

Metanoiete, says Jesus. What the word means literally is “go beyond the mind that you have.” See things in a new way; think about the world differently.

Immediately after giving this speech, Jesus calls Simon, Andrew, James, and John, and they leave everything behind: livelihood, family, worldly hopes, whatever ambitions they had—and they follow him.

This is the freedom that comes from conversion, from the attitude of detachment. They are no longer tied down—wrapped up, as it were, in their nets. Now they are free to follow the promptings of the Lord.

What does this mean for us today? The same thing it meant for the first followers of Christ. Go beyond the mind that you have. Repent. Live as though nothing in this world finally matters.

When you do this you will be living in the kingdom of God!


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  • Anton D

    ‘ Go beyond the mind that you have. Repent.
    Live as though nothing in this world finally matters.

    When you do this you will be living in the kingdom of God! ‘

  • Bernhild Whitworth

    Go beyond the mind and the Mosaic Law and live in the Heart. Jesus came to forgive not to judge.Go beyond this world and its desires and overcome all suffering through uniting with the divine Source – the same teaching as we have in Hinduism and Buddhism: the universal law of love and compassion.

    • Mary Hilchey


    • Anton D

      Can one forgive without judging? To forgive one must know to differentiate between Right and Wrong. This is judgement.
      Jesus did not come to condemn the sinners but He did judge Right from Wrong. And let people know it.
      Jesus forgave sinners and after forgiving says ‘go and sin no more’.

      • Gary

        I like what you wrote. We have all sinned against God. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” The entire population has been judged and found guilty and sentenced to death. However, the good news is that the Father paid the price by sending his only Son to die for us, thus reconciling us to himself. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. This is an example of God’s love and his judgement. And that is why we have heaven and hell. God wants all of us to be saved but the choice is ours. Make Jesus the center of your life. Choose Jesus and live or face the alternative.

    • Gary

      Where does Jesus fit in Hinduism and Buddhism. Does Jesus not say? No one can come to the Father unless he comes through me. Jesus is the only one who died, was buried and resurrected from the dead. It is not about religion, but a personal relationship with a living God that went to the cross for you and forgave everyone of your sins past, present and future. God is love, but don’t forget, he is also a just God, that forgives but does judge.

      • Mariaeugenia

        Jesus is considered one of the great Boddhitsavas

        • Gary

          I am really not sure what that means.

          • Mariaeugenia

            Neither am I, Gary, since I am Catholic and not Hindu or Buddhist, but that does not imply I cannot look it up in Google and inform myself

      • rtclovesmac

        Just looked it …Buddhists recognize his teaching as one of compassion and as such his life example is considered good for all, even though they do not espouse all his teachings.

  • ber

    Oh how I long to break free from this world that I may fly to my beloved these world cares that deprive us of total unity with the lord there is nothing even family that would keep us here to know him is to love him God takes away the things that would hinder us at moment of death from wanting to be with him putting on the mind of Christ he did not even allow the mothers love stop him from following the father’s will the world has a lot of beauty that intices us to stay and make our home here but to know the lord is to desire with all our hearts heaven
    NOw father let your severant go in peace God bless your day

  • Byron Crowell

    Bishop, I struggle with this idea. Paul, for example, while preaching detachment, cared deeply about the outcomes of his ministries. How could he be both radically motivated while nonplussed about the potential outcomes of his work. WOF is a great example of caring deeply about the success of one’s chosen endeavor? I don’t understand how to be “detached” while keeping the deep convictions needed to bring about any chance of success for a project. Making things work in this falen world is not easy. Can one imagine throwing ones life into what you think is God’s mission for you and then simply shrugging off the results and outcomes as “God’s Will”? I cannot find a rational path for this. Please help. Thanks.

    • Maggie

      Thank you for putting words to my thoughts. As a parent, wife and daughter, one has to care. How to you love and nurture and detach?

      • Patrick Cassidy

        If you learn to live for God first, then all of your other relationships and responsibilities will fall into place. Paul did say to not neglect our daily duties, while we await the Second Coming of our Lord. Jesus Himself tells us that we called out of this world, but that doesn’t mean we are completely removed. We have to focus on the Lord first, but we cannot neglect the others of this world.

        • Elizabeth

          should have read your statement first Patrick, My response was worded differently but on the same track. God Bless.

      • Mary

        I try hard to remember that my children belong to God and my job on earth is to teach them to love the Lord. If he takes them from me early then I know they are with our Father in heaven- my goal for them is complete! Let me add, this has not been tested yet.

    • Rosemaid

      I believe detachment goes hand in hand with trust. Do we trust that the “heavenly weaver” can use our poor offerings, whether successful or not, to create a magnificent tapestry? Do we really trust that God wants our best work even if it fails to deliver what the world would call success? Detachment doesn’t mean to be unemotional or uncaring it is a deep inner knowing that “all things work for good for those who love the Lord”. I often say the ejaculation, Jesus I trust in You. Blessings on all <

    • Elizabeth

      Byron Crowell, If I understand the meaning of detachment here,it is to keep focused on working for the Lord, however, do not sway back and forth if there are obstacles.God provides when we depend on him. Spreading the Word is the mission, we send out seeds of faith and then let go of any anxiety about what the seedd will produce. Having Confidence in the lord is the key. God will even use the negatives to bring about what God wants for the world – love and mercy.

    • concerned citizen

      The moment you desire anything too much, it becomes an obsession and you lose God’s gift of peace. What you desire becomes the focus of your attention and your life centers around it. And when this desire is not fulfilled, of course you become upset, disappointed and greatly disturbed.

      As long as you have confidence on God’s wisdom and trust in His Will, you will never be disappointed or upset if things do not happen as you plan it. So long as you have done all your best and with all your love, believe firmly that this is all that matters to Him, He will be pleased with you. This above all must you desire – to please God in all things.

      • ber

        Yes St Alphonsus didn’t leave you in any douth he speaks the truth yes concerned great reading for lent again thanks

    • Barbara Ann Baugh

      Paul cared about the mission God had commissioned him for. Many times in his letters he expresses that he does not boast. He cautions his followers not to say “I am a follower of Paul. but I am a follower of Christ.

  • Mary Hilchey

    POWERFUL-to be Present Here and Now to what is and will be

  • Patrick Cassidy

    Another interesting reading! This detachment/change of mind is what separates us from the rest of the world. The world would normally see the world through their eyes. We see the world through God’s Eyes. So, what the world treasures, will be rubbish to us. This is why Christians are persecuted, because we refuse to play by the world’s rules (gain as much wealth, eye for an eye, etc…)

  • James D. Blocksom Jr.

    This reflection is disturbing for me. After conversion to Catholisism, and over ten years of seperation from my wife we are in the process of reconciliation. Am I to throw this away or continue working on it? It seems to me that it is part of my mission. I see my wife and children getting closer to God because of it. Or am I to do as Peter did and go off and preach the gospel? Confusion!

    • ber

      A marriage is made in heaven what ewr his words what the lord has put together let no man part I think he would be pleased you are working on your marriage James I wish you many blessings and hope it works out

      • James D. Blocksom Jr.

        Thanks for your reassurance.

    • Elizabeth

      James D. Blocksom Jr., you are living what Bishop Robert Barron’s reflection indicates. You see with different eyes than what you had seen before. You are doing the work of the Lord close to home. And that is more significant than going to a distant land. We need more families working with God in their lives and strengthening their families awareness of God in their lives. Look around you, In this way your wife and children can go forward in whatever way they are called to do the work of the Lord. Now it is not just one, you, but your family as well. There are two aspects of working for the Lord. The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Look them over and see where you are already doing the work of the Lord. Or, where you can incorporate these works into your life. Thank you for your testimony of faith and the life giving changes in your family. God is blessing you and yours.

      • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom Tampa Lady

        God is present in the process of your conversion. Just live in Him and ask what next God.

    • TulsaVic

      James, your mission as spiritual head of your family is to get your family to heaven. Don’t be drawn away from this. I’m often confused about what I should do, but I realize (usually) this is a combination of God’s great gift of free will meeting evil (the devil). Lead your family, it’s what the Lord requires of us. God bless you and your reconciling family!

      • James D. Blocksom Jr.

        Thanks for your reassurance!

    • filiaecclesia

      James, I think the principle here is that while we are meant to tend to that which is our duty here in this life (and being faithful to our vocation – in your case as husband and father – is at the top of the list), it is not more important than our relationship with Christ. We are to let nothing trouble or sidetrack us so much that we lose sight of that. No created thing or being, even if it is our spouse or child, is more important than He is. But you will find that if you put Christ truly first in your life (as it sounds you are doing!), you will have the patience, understanding, and peace you need to fulfill well all the demands of your duties. I’m so happy to hear about your and your wife’s reconciliation – what a gift you are giving your children! May our Lady guide you!

      • James D. Blocksom Jr.

        Thank you for your reassurance. Thought I was on the right track just needed confirmation.

        • reginapacis

          You’re welcome! Just out of curiosity, is the concept of detachment in Catholic spirituality very different from your experience with your past religious tradition (I’m assuming you converted from another religion – perhaps not?)? Have a good day, James.

          • James D. Blocksom Jr.

            I was a Protestant, Methodist when I decide to get baptized at 18. I never remember detachment being mentioned. In hindsight and from what I’ve seen in many of my Protestant friends is an attitude of searching for a church that suits one rather than working at working at being a “good” Catholic. In Catholasism the rules are clear.

    • concerned citizen

      James, there are two ways to preach the Gospel. You can actually preach them like what the missionaries do. But this is not your calling. Or you can preach it by living the Gospel. Blessed Mother Teresa never really preached to the sick and suffering and the dying that she was taking care of. But when they saw what she was doing for them, many became converted. For us laymen, living the Gospel is the best way to preach it. So go ahead and continue what you are doing. I will pray that your family become united and fully reconciled.

      • James D. Blocksom Jr.

        Amen! Thanks for your reassurance.

    • Janet Almen

      Your marriage vow is your mission!
      Bloom where you are planted!

      • James D. Blocksom Jr.

        Thanks for your reassurance.

    • Gary

      I think the Bishop is talking about personal conversion to Jesus Christ. Jesus says “YOU MUST LOSE YOUR LIFE TO SAVE IT.” You are born of corruptible seed and reborn of incorruptible seed. You become a new creation in Christ. You will have a one on one relationship with the living God. Your heart of stone will be changed into a heart of love. That is true conversion.

  • ber

    Reflecting on this morning reflection I also thought of Mary and Martha Mary wanted to sit at the lords feet and listen to him Martha was so busy fussing she didn’t have time to do the same she had a duty to preform it had to be done but our lords words you worry and fret for so many things ect he’s saying focus on him all other things will fall into place ????

  • Alicia

    Wow God bless you and your family! From what I have learned to be true is that you are spiritual leader of your family. When a man and woman marry they are to help each other get to heaven. Your family is your world to live the gospel and ” preaching” by walking the talk or being an example to your wife and dear children. Some people are called to leave their homes and go to help. But marriage is a calling, being a father is a calling, being a good brother, son is a calling, being a good coworker is a calling, being a good neighbor is a calling, & being in Christ’s Heart & His teachings in our tiny life is the calling. So take a nice deep breath & fear not! Just keep learning about your newly discovered faith, let Jesus fill you with His Spirit so you can be the best holy man to your wife and children, and to the world of people that God puts in your life each day. Peace to you…

    • Deng

      And being a good and compassionate mother is a calling too.

    • Kathiehc

      I want to remember this! Thank you, Alicia!

  • Joseph T. Garcia

    …” Go beyond the mind that you have . Repent . Live as though ‘nothing” in this world finally matters” . ” When you do this you will be living in the “Kingdom ” of God ” .

  • kayeloney@cox.net

    Lady Obedience, who could recese Jesus. The Trinity is within our very soul our mind our body.

  • concerned citizen

    thank you so much Bishop Barron for this thought provoking reflection. As St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote in his book, “Preparation for Death”, the only thing that really matters to us, is the salvation of our soul. If you lose your wealth, you can still recover it. If you get sick, you can still get well. If your reputation is ruined, you can still rebuild it. But if you lose your soul, you lose it for eternity. There is no end to it. Eternity is something we should reflect from time to time. Because it does not only mean a hundred years, nor a thousand years, nor a million years. A zillion years could go by and eternity has just began.

  • Màire Ní Bhroin

    Thx for that profound interpretation, Bishop. It resonates deeply with me today as I share this testimony, from my own life. Someone just told me that there are lies circulating, concerning myself. These lies have adversely affected recent opportunities to show my art work and have made many people, including my own family, distant. Thankfully, I feel God’s grace and love surround me ever deeper, as I seek to go beyond my own limited mind and understanding into God’s. This situation, is really teaching me that nothing else in this world really matters but Him. I just try to understand His LOVE, through prayer, contemplation & faith. So, keep walking through these storms and be open to receive Jesus’s healing love, despite all negative appearances in the desert times of your life, never lose heart!

  • Dayna Ellis

    Loved this, Bishop Barron. Nothing else really matters but living now in the presence of God. Blessings for your continued ministry of bringing in Jesus’s lost sheep.

  • Anton D

    C.S. Lewis(former atheist), says in his book – ‘Mere Christianity’ :

    “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.

    You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

  • Dude_Abides

    Jesus was one of the original “out-of-the-box” thinkers, teacher of his/our Father’s WAY. I would also put the earlier prophets of the Old Testament ( Elijah, Amos, Daniel, Jeremiah, etc. ) who warned God’s chosen people, the Jews, to straighten up and fly right or suffer the consequences into this category.
    However God’s chosen people refused to listen and thus because of the many warnings that went unheeded, Our Lord allowed them to be attacked, conquered and subjugated and carried off of their God bestowed promised lands.
    First by the Assyrian’s, who attacked and defeated the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom (~740 BCE) who were carried off to lands beyond the Euphrates (they become known as the Ten Lost Tribes). Then the Babylonians came along attacked, defeated and subjugated the two southern tribes of the Kingdom of Judah (starting around 605 BCE). Some, not all of the peoples of Judah, were taken to the land of Babylon. Only after the defeat of the Babylonians by the Persians were the Jewish peoples allowed to return to their original lands of Judea by the King of Persia, Cyrus the Great (539 BCE). Therefore some of the captive Jews returned to their promised lands (perhaps only around 20,000 of the original 36,000 to 48,000 who were in captivity; the numbers are estimates by Biblical scholars but are not really known here, there were two major deportations and several other minor ones). Maybe half of the captive Jews having grown comfortable with the sinful ways of the Babylonians stayed. Those that returned helped rebuild those things that had been destroyed, the city of Jerusalem and other cities, Yet when these ‘freed’ Jews returned to their promise land they brought along with them some of the ways, practices and teachings of their former ruler’s ‘Babylonian Torah’ mixed in with their Mosaic teachings. Over time this “diluted tainted way” becomes part of the entrenched dogma of the Jewish religion.
    Thus, when Jesus arrives on the scene some 500 years later this is the landscape he is cast upon. An established Jewish religion that is so far off the mark, so eschew of the set of Laws handed down to Moses. Jesus sets about to straighten this out and free first the Jews and then all of man from these worldly chains. As BB states: “See things in a new WAY; think about the world differently.” Of course we all know how that story goes.
    A little aside: before we were known as Christians, followers of Christ (actually Greek: “Like The Anointed” or “Follower of The Anointed”), this term was coined around the late first century in Antioch. The early Christians during the period of Jesus’ time, death and about the next 30 to 40 years were known as Followers of “The Way”.

  • Anitra Goudelock

    This is the confirmation I needed! Amen!

  • Gerald Mcshane

    At OSFHealthcare we begin all our meeting with prayer. Today’s reflection is a perfect reflection for our senior staff

    Dr Jerry McShane MD

  • Barbara Ann Baugh

    I have lately been fascinated by archeology documentaries on YouTube. Of course thanks the Israeli government archeological work in Israel has been booming, I happened to watch a documentary on Capernaum. Archeologists have found the ruins of many houses of the fishermen. The fishing industry was thriving in Capernaum at the time of Jesus even those hired hands were well paid. James and John we know were sons of Zebedee who was the owner of at least one boat. These men actually gave up thriving businesses. How great was the TRUST these men had in Jesus. Do I have that trust? No But I pray for that pray for it every day. My trust in Jesus is increasing every day and sometimes in very strange ways. For example watching that documentary was almost a religious revelation. As I see the world in a new light my trust increases. Perhaps some day my trust will reach the level of James and John, Peter and Andrew.

  • Avi Marranazo

    As I’ve heard it expressed elsewhere: the Kingdom of God isn’t somewhere else–it’s right here and right now!

  • Heidi

    Don’t mistake this piece for meaning that it does not matter how you relate to others, follow a calling, or that NOTHING matters. There is a small glitch of wording to my mind in this passage, i.e. “in” vs. “of”:

    Live as though nothing IN this world finally matters.

    Should read: Live as though nothing OF this world finally matters. All salvation is lost or found IN this world that we were placed by the Creator God at the time we are placed here. So much is at stake. To be IN the world but not OF it is the challenge. The Kingdom to which this piece refers has its own laws. Those laws (Commandments) are for excellence through the practice and refinement of virtue. I think that is what this piece (and those preceding) intends.

    • Gary

      You are very correct. Jesus says “You are in the world, but you are not of the world. This is a temporary home for us. Our real permanent home is with our Father in heaven.

  • Debra Johnson

    I guess I agree in theory. When you are faced with unemployment, having to go to food banks and in danger of foreclosure, it’s a little hard to detach and leave everything behind. Today I tried to sell my sentimental items for money and was offered a pittance. Before I went home, I went and prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. Is this living in the kingdom of God?

  • rtclovesmac

    Such things, such feelings are welling up within me nowadays…pray that I can sustain the journey.

  • Kathiehc

    I want to remember this! Thank you

  • Mariaeugenia

    “Leave everything behind” is a darling of the celibates which they take along without further thought, regardless of: the continuous presence of Peter’s mother in law in his life; the commandment repeated by Jesus to “leave father and mother, and unite with your wife and be one body [not one soul, but one body]”; those who made themselves “eunuchs” because God gave them that special gift of Matthew 19:12: “But He said to them, ‘Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.’

    • Mariaeugenia

      I may add that I believe celibacy in priests is a calling and that it does much good to the Church, the latter having confirmed it; but it could be changed if the Authority of the Roman Catholic Church sees fit to do that ever.

  • Linda Dokey

    There is a bit of Heaven on Earth when we follow Jesus and try to do the will of God.