Luke 9: 51-56 He Journeyed On
The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. For this reason, he journeyed on, determined to go to Jerusalem.
There comes a time in every man’s life where he comes to a crossroad: Shall I love or shall I curse? Shall I give or shall I give in? The more power I have, the easier it is to dominate, to seek control, to consolidate and manipulate. For this reason, the Lord was stripped of his glory and became a meek and humble servant of man. We do not love a powerful God, we love a loving God, and to love means to serve, to sacrifice, and to give. We do not love a boastful God, we love a humble God, and to be humble means to forgive, to understand and to embrace. I must follow the Lord all the way out of love for Him, regardless of victory. Love does not know the final outcome. Love follows. I must prefer to be with the Lord in Hell, than to be with the devil in Heaven. I will follow you wherever you go and wherever you are.
Job experienced true loss, true misery and true, unfiltered, unadulterated death. He had lost all that was dear to him. He even lost the love for life. “Perish the day on which I was born, the night when they said, ‘The child is a boy!’ Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? Why was I not buried away like an untimely birth, like babes that have never seen the light?” Job had been thrown to the gates of Hell but he refused to hate. He refused to open the gates and enter. He questioned, he asked, he sought and he found. He found God.
Rejection and humiliation are not demons. They are reminders that life on earth is lived in the chaos of sin and evil. Stupid am I if I live my life to preserve it rather than to consume it.
Who am I to call upon the Lord to strike down my enemies or to ask the Lord to hunt them down and take them out! I would be the first to go! “Contradictions, sickness, scruples, spiritual aridity, and all the inner and outward torments are the chisel with which God carves his statues for paradise.” (St. Alphonsus Ligouri) “Don’t worry too much about who is with you or against you. Be sure that God is with you in everything that you do. God will defend you. No evil can occur to you when God is at your side” (The Imitation of Christ). The Saints truly understand God’s language of love and help interpret it for us.
We worry so much about how we feel. Feelings come and go, and if you want to know the truth: we should probably feel miserable most of the time – especially during a retreat or spiritual exercises. The question really is, “What do you want? What are you looking for? What do you want to achieve?” Holiness is the only acceptable answer. Christ means total surrender. Our lives can become very bitter if we forget this. Victory comes with a price: the Cross. The most difficult wars are fought in the will. My mind knows what is right and what is wrong. My heart does not want to offend the Lord. It is the muscle, my will, that needs to be trained. Sacrifice trains the will, prepares the soul for battle.
Lord, give me the grace to give what you want and to take what you give, and journey on. Amen.