Friday, May 23, 2014

So What's the Plan?


Life isn't a race.

I think, more often than not, life is more about coming to a complete halt rather than going as fast as you can.  I'm talking about "abiding."

I deeply appreciate the 13th-16th chapters of the Gospel of John.  John was the Evangelist whose mission it was to especially reveal and emphasize Christ's Divinity.  Jesus is the Son of God Who became the Son of Mary (thus becoming a Son of man) to teach us sons and daughters of men how to live our deepest identity and calling as children of God.

A thought on what it means for Jesus to be the Son of God:  Jesus is always at rest, always at home in His Father's love.  Jesus abides in the Father.  "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me" He says.  Jesus is utterly filled with the Father's Love (aka the Holy Spirit.)  Jesus invites us in today's Gospel reading at Mass to "abide in My love" (RSV-CE translation.)  Hence, Jesus' love is the Holy Spirit which is in fact the Father's love.  To draw nearer to Jesus, to rest on His heart, is to abide in the Father's overflowing Love from Jesus' Heart.

I sense that love most intensely when I am meditating on the Word of God (the Scriptures) in the presence of the Word of God (the Eucharist.)  Jesus' whole purpose in coming to fulfill His Father's Will was to enter into a Holy Communion with us; that we might abide in His love.

All God ever wanted in sending His Son to us was to bring us back to abiding in His love to be in Holy Communion with Him.  God wants us to stop racing around.  Just stop.  To listen to what He has said to us (His Word - i.e. Jesus!) and simply receive the Love He is always giving.  To really enter into Holy Communion with Him.  To really receive Holy Communion for what It truly is:  All of God's Love. Eucharistic Adoration before and after Mass (or praying in front of the Tabernacle) prolongs and intensifies that Holy Encounter with Christ in the Eucharist; it expands our hearts even more to receive ever more of His love and grace.  

But we receive precisely what we are open to receive.  

Let us open our hearts even more!  We can turn to Mother Mary (whose receiving of the Word was the most fruitful "receptivity" in the history of mankind! So fruitful that the Word actually became flesh within her!) We can ask her to help us receive more of what we so desperately need: the Father's love.

It is one thing to be loved by God - it is another thing entirely to receive it. 

And at the end of the day that's all that matters because, at the end of any day no one wants to keep racing but everyone wants to just be loved, to abide in love (even going home to a family, which is a place to be at rest, is a manifestation of our need to "abide.")

So some people have asked me, "Matt, now that you've left this community and priestly formation, what's the next step?"

Oh... I think I'll just stay put.

"Abide in My Love."

-MM

It's a restful place to be; abiding in God's love.  I wish you would rest, too.