Friday, March 23, 2007

Jesus loves us! In spite of our resistance to believe.

Friday Fourth Week of Lent 2007
Mass Readings
Wisdom 2:1a, 12-22
John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

We are all familiar with Jesus getting fed up with the business folk selling things in the Temple. Jesus became so frustrated and offended that he physically drove them out. Jesus was not afraid to show his emotions. Today our Gospel text shows Jesus reaching the limit with the folks listening to him during the Feast of Tabernacles.

Jesus has been with the people day in and out. Jesus has raised the dead to life. Jesus has made the lame walk. Jesus has made the blind see and the deaf hear. Jesus has fed thousands with just table scraps. Jesus has cast out demons with simply a whisper. But it still isn't enough to convince most people. Jesus had the faithfulness of the women who ministered to him and the ones he healed, but most people still didn't see. Even Jesus' disciples were still not sure. I cannot imagine the level of disappointment and frustration Jesus must have been feeling when the folks listening to him decided that he wasn't "all that" merely because they knew where Jesus had lived growing up. Of all reasons! Truly the Messiah couldn't come from Nazareth! You can almost feel Jesus' disappointment.

Jesus cries out in the midst of the people. This isn't merely a scolding the people are about to receive but rather Jesus' plea for them to let go of their obsession with physical geography and to surrender to God's spiritual geography. Jesus wants the people to see that this isn't about him growing up in Nazareth but being sent from God's Kingdom to enter the world so that we can know God's salvation. Jesus is tired and frustrated by their lack of belief in spite of all he has done in God's name. Raising the dead to life isn't even enough! You can almost hear the people saying, "Nope. Sorry. You are from Nazareth so you just get points for the miracles but we can't believe you are from God let alone The Christ".

But instead of giving up on us hardhearted and dimwitted lot, Jesus loves us regardless. Our resistance to fully opening our hearts and accepting His love would not make a difference in His love for us. Thank God!

Jesus' love is open to all of us. We stumble, we make mistakes, and at times we can be resistant to fully accepting God's Law of Love. Yet we are always welcome In God's house. We are not discarded by Jesus. We are never shut out of Jesus' love for us. However, we can miss out on Jesus' unlimited love by our own stubbornness.

Jesus cries out today and asks us to believe and accept Him. We may be reluctant at times but Jesus still loves us and this I know is true.