Thursday, March 26, 2015

Who Do You Make Yourself Out to Be?

More of Jesus' Living Words from the Gospel of John, chapter 8:

[Some people could not grasp nor put into lived practice the intimate and holy knowing of God.  They are bothered by and judge Jesus, and are offended.  They are frustrated and incensed, and ask...] 

"Who do you make yourself out to be?"
"Jesus answered, 
'If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, "He is our God."
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you, a liar;
but I do know him and I keep his word.'"

Jesus has it straight and right.  He Is, after all, Truth.  He tells these people that they do not know God. He tells them that his is not like them--liars.  But He does know God and He keeps God's Word.

On this sixth day toward the end of this year's earthly Lent, of being worn out and laid out by physical pain (and all that of the human body, mind, and emotions that exist inherent in such depletion), there are definite signs that His Real Presence is trying to reach in and bolster this nothing, consecrated, Catholic, hermit Christian.

Yesterday, in talking with a friend hundreds of miles away, it wept and explained that in the various phases of such pain, the emotions have the reaction such as stroke victims are known to have.  There is weeping, probably from the reality of bodily helplessness and the mental thought of hopelessness that accompanies such a reality.  (Heart patients are known to experience depression--thought due to the what-ifs and unknowns of when the heart might malfunction again; but stroke victims experience tears.)

A spiritual friend unexpectedly emailed last night with words of encouragement and sharing of some trials undergoing currently, and expressing how she can relate in some ways of the frustrations, but also that the hermit's body needs rest and refreshment.  Not much more is going to physically occur until the body is able.  A daughter called, unexpectedly, also--and was surprised and sorry to learn-- but not unused to the cyclical pain sieges--that the hermit was not at all mobile nor working on plumbing or anything else in the hermitage.  

Yet another person called late at night--someone the hermit had thought about earlier in the day but had no means to contact so prayed.  That person shared some prayer concerns and promised to pray for some the hermit shared; they prayed together on the phone.   Each of these unexpected contacts remind the soul that God is with it, that all this is in God's allowing, in His will and plan.

There is an answer, also, in this Gospel being proclaimed in the universal Church today: the Living Word of God, spoken by Jesus Christ.

Hang tough.  You know God. You do know Him, and be assured in keeping His Word.  Do not fall in with those who are liars, who do not know God but who say they do. Treachery even in unwitting trickery is no sign of knowing God even though their external motions and rules may seem to be met. Do not fall into this trap.  Know with what is deep in your heart of hearts, when all else is stripped away by pain at all levels.  Return deep into your roots, and be assured that you do love God with all your being, that you know God, and that you so desire and try to keep His Word.

The Gospel words of Jesus are starkly strong, right down to Jesus telling those trying to detract, demean, and entrap him--that he is not going to be a liar like they are, for he truly knows God and keeps His Word.  What confidence Jesus possesses!  And how firmly He states what He knows and that He sees right through people who are up to no good, even if they think they are doing the right thing, upholding the accumulation of laws created and distorted by all kinds of human interpretations and their incumbent consequences.

Well, we are not Jesus, but He lives in us and us in Him--those of us who desire, ask, receive  and love Him with all our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls.  We desire and try to keep His Word.  And we do get side-tracked sometimes, and don't do a perfect job of keeping His Word sometimes.  But God is merciful, forgives, and gives us chances to try again and again to sin no more, right up to our last breath.  Even at that moment, we have His mercy.

The simple fact and truth of the matter sifts out from all the confusions and conflicts that have arisen when we try to make into rules and laws that which we think are what we should be keeping...or think might help us keep God's word better.  

What truly matters, though, simply so, is to know God and to keep His Word.  KNOW God.  We are able to know Him through knowing Jesus--every aspect of Jesus possible.  And a lot is possible by reading and absorbing His words, and in loving Him up-front and personally.  Talk with Him.  Desire Him.  Follow Him.  Keep His commands--even His Greatest Commandment and the nine others of the Ten.  LOVE HIM.

Perhaps this human body can rise today and attempt some small effort in getting whatever step closer to leaving this temporal place, preparing it as a place for someone else...all the while knowing that there will be a "place" for this body, mind, heart, and soul in Jesus Christ, the knowing, the knower, the known.  And in that, in His meek and humble heart, this nearly imperceptible suffering nothing, will be keeping His Word, as well.

God bless His Real Presence, and may His Real Presence be in a simplified and humbled us, and us in Him.  Just in Him. May we know His Real Presence and keep His Word.

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