Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”
Why not reveal yourself to the world? Great question Judas! I like it. Why doesn’t the Lord just get it over with, once and for all, and do the job himself? Why doesn’t Jesus just do it all for us?
Last night, I turned on the TV and watched a bit of Investigation Discovery. A man, by the name of Dennis Rabbitt, had been raping women for nearly twenty-five years in the St. Louis (MI) area. After a special task force was established to catch this criminal, the police finally caught him, six years after they began their investigation. When detectives and prosecutors examined his life, looking for clues as to why he committed these serious crimes, they discovered that his father had babied him all his life. Really? Yep! Daddy gave his son everything he ever wanted. He often justified or excused for his son’s behavior at school and at home. He basically let him off the hook all the time.
It’s amazing what happens to an individual’s psychology when they are not allowed to grow up!
Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. How will the Lord reveal himself to the world? Through His followers. Through us. The hard way. That’s how. It’s not the most efficient way. It may not even be the most effective way. But it is the most authentic way. It is His Way.
Christ insists that we be a part of His plan of salvation. He wants our active participation. He insists on it. He demands that we bring people closer to Him not by fairy dust but by living what we preach. He insists that we help change people’s lives. He insists that we do something for others along The Way.
It’s clearly not the easiest way. But it is the best way, the most authentic way.
Think of it like this. Our mom would have done everything for us if she chose to (or if we allowed her to). She would have cooked for us all our life, cleaned up for us, bathed us, put us to bed, dressed us, etc… But thank God one day she said: “Okay…Now it’s your turn. Do it yourself.”
The same goes for our father. He could have done it all for us as well. He could have fixed everything for us and spent his own money for us. But one day he said, “Enough! Now, it’s up to you. You do it. You fix it. You pay.”
Unfortunately (or fortunately), this is the only way people mature. God is not a force. Nor is He a grandfather. He is our eldest brother and Father. These are the terms He has chosen for himself. And we all know that big brothers and fathers tend to help us grow up fast and the hard way.
With this in mind, it should come as no mystery as to why converts to Catholicism are generally the more orthodox, strident, energetic and enthusiastic of all; and why cradle Catholics tend to be a bit more laidback, relaxed and uninspiring. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but it makes a tremendous difference in one’s life to discover God (and faith) rather than have it spoon fed all your life.
Sharpen your faith. Whenever G.K. Chesterton was having doubts of faith, he found relief by reading Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells (two non-believers). It worked for him and it kept him sharp. I know that whenever I feel as though I am getting bored, all I do is crack open a little bit of Dawkins and Hitchens and my faith comes right back to life. I love it when they try to explain Christianity (or religion in general). They’re so…well…immature.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”