Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter
(Click here for readings)
Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved. When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.”
When I was very young, my cousin and I agreed that we should marry someone who was better than us. Back then, that meant someone who had more money than us. When I was a teenager, my cousin and I agreed that we should marry someone who was better looking than us. But when I saw an Abbott and Costello movie I changed my mind. In it, Abbott convinced Costello to marry an ugly woman “because if she leaves you, you won’t care so much!”
Well, our ideas changed over time. Thank God! But now I realize that we were on to something good back then, for there is nothing wrong in thinking others are better than you, or that it’s not bad to hang out with people that are better than you. Our problem wasn’t that we didn’t know enough people. Our problem was that we didn’t know what “better people” meant. We both learned that many years later.
To “hang out with the Lord” means to hang out with someone who is much better than you are. You don’t have to be a believer to realize this. You just have to be intellectually honest to admit it.
To be united to the Lord means to marry up. Every time someone goes to confession, they are lifted up, not knocked down; they are loved, not judged. They are treated better than they deserve; better than they could ever imagine; more than they could ever fathom.
To “hang out with the Lord” teaches us to value everyone regardless of their wealth; regardless of their status; regardless of their citizenship (or non-citizenship); regardless of their faith; and most importantly, regardless of their sins.
Let’s be honest: the Lord is not only high above the heavens, He is high above me! In so many ways He is better than me: in love, in forgiveness, in mercy and compassion, in understanding and patience, in wisdom and in teaching. Hanging out with Him is the best thing that could have ever happened to me, for not only did I marry up, but He also shares all that He has with me. He shares His wealth, His position, His authority, His Father.
No wonder why the Lord prayed that we are one with Him as He is with the Father.
You in me and I in you. Could anyone ask for anything more? What could be better than the best? What could be better than to be loved? Only one thing: to love and be loved. What could be better than to be united with another in mind, body and soul? Only one thing: to be united with God in mind, body and soul. Again, to marry up! To be one with Him means to allow my heart to be His heart; my mind to be His mind; my arms and legs to become His arms and legs.
It’s a blessing to have a friend; someone to go out with, spend time with, and share some good laughs and tears with. Friends understand me well. They know perfectly well what I’m about to say before I say it and what I want to say even when I’m unable to say it. They know me and can regurgitate me. But it’s hard to find a friend that will tell me what I need to hear and not what I want to hear.
The Lord is my friend. He even calls me friend “if you follow my Commandments.” Ah, yea. I know what you’re thinking: No independence! But what “independence” is there if you are a slave to sin?
The Lord knows me better than I know myself, and He knows He’s better than I am. Do I know that too? If so, then He will give me His inheritance, for humility is worth more than gold in heaven.
Christ knows all my fears and all my insecurities; especially those I have never revealed to anyone. Do I give them to Him? If so, then He gives me His strength: “Though I am weak, I am strong.”
That they may be one. Peter was comparing himself to John, the beloved disciple. He should have been comparing Himself to the Lord. That’s where his peace, security, love and dignity will be found. Boston Strong! Seek God Strong! Live Strong! Seek God Strong! Peter Strong! Seek God Strong!