He who relies on theoretical knowledge alone is not yet a faithful servant: a faithful servant is one who expresses his faith in Christ through obedience to His commandments.
St. Mark the Ascetic
On Those who Think that They are Made Righteous by Works
Two Hundred and Twenty-Six Texts
Focusing on Jesus is at its core the purpose of obedience. Without the focus on Jesus and what Jesus invites us to consider and do we are lost. St. Mark has plainly reminded us that faithfulness is not found in knowledge alone, but, rather, in a commitment to love. We love God and we love each other which are the two foundational commandments Christ gives his followers. St. Mark knew this work was not easy and retreated to the desert to find the space to redevelop his life. Lent affords us an opportunity to retreat away from the daily distractions and refocus our life on the commandments God calls us to. The trap is believing that if we do more we will be more faithful. Instead, obedience demands that we carve away the distractions that lead us away from God and develop new habits that orient our life on the most basic call to love one another.