As this week’s gospel text is exceedingly long I invite you to click on the below link to read it in its entirety.
Reflection What do you think about the notion that each one of our life stories is a variation on the theme of Jesus’ story? Some of us were planned from birth, others, not so much. Some were welcomed to the world with gifts, ( I don’t know about frankincense and myrrh, possibly a silver spoon) others driven into hiding. All of us are “tempted.”All of us encounter “other” people; the sick, wealthy, poor, wise, powerful, weak, fearful, bold. A few of us have friends who really know who we are but most people only think they do. We have families who love us and misjudge us; civil and religious officials who try to tell us who and how we ought to be. And, if we dare to pick up our cross and live our lives by faith rather than fear, by love rather than power and privilege, there is every chance we will be misunderstood, spit at, persecuted and possibly killed.
Jesus is not a parable, a metaphor or an analogy. Jesus is a living, breathing, human person who experienced the full range of messiness and temptations with which life is fraught. This is essential because if Jesus was not a real human person than his story has little to do with us. But, like the rest of us humans, Jesus lived and breathed and found his being in relationship with God.
Please hear Jesus’ words from the gospel according to John. "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19) "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of the One who sent Me.” (John 6.38)
Jesus’ relationship with God the Father is the hallmark of his identity and of his way of life. It is into this relationship of unspeakable intimacy with God that each and every one of us is invited. As faithful Christians we are intended to experience a qualitatively new reality in which moment by moment, day by day we submit our will to the will of the One, Holy and Living God. When we no longer live to satisfy our inordinate desires for safety, security, affection, esteem, power and control we are free to live our lives as an expression of God’s love. Likewise, we are free to lay down our lives into the hands of our Father God.
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