There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. Jn 1:6

6/30/13
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
John: YHWH is gracious…not only kind and generous and hospitable but full of grace and bestowing grace. “There was” in prior days, there actually lived, there existed…we are not asked to believe in fables or fairy tales or even myths, but in history, in what really happened then and therefore what continues to have repercussions even today.
A man: a human being, a person. An individual who lived as we live, who ate, drank, talked, walked, was ecstatic, angry, a teacher, a preacher, unique…
Sent from God: a prophet, sent, chosen, selected before he was born, a miracle baby to a couple beyond child-bearing age. Whose birth was surrounded by miracles, an angel, Gabriel himself, was sent to announce his birth to his father, Zachariah was incredulous and, for this reason of unbelief, was struck dumb until the child was born and to be named. Zachariah shared the fate of all who are incredulous, punishment for unbelief, but it was a loving punishment, for he would not be able to express his joy, his amazement, his hope, his faith which grew as the child grew in his wife’s womb until it burst forth in prophecy, a prophecy which he had contemplated for nine months and which was realized in the naming of his son for the graciousness of God.
This child was given the awareness of the presence, even in the womb of his mother, of the Chosen One, Jesus, the God-Man, the Savior he was to anticipate and precede.
Whose name was John. This is John on John, the Evangelist on the Baptist. It must have struck JE that JB was aptly named….Lk certainly makes us aware of the significance of the Precursor’s name…as if God wanted to underline and bold His mercy personified in this Man…so that we might believe and have faith in God the Merciful, God the Provident, God the Loving, God the Just who would be revealed as God Our Father.
We too, without the fanfare, without the angel, without the miracles, we too were sent from God. Each and every one of us is a part of God’s Providence, God’s plan, God’s graciousness. Ours may be a less prominent role, but a role, nonetheless, which no one else, no one before, during or after us, can play. We are here, at this moment in time, to fulfill God’s purpose on earth. Listen, be still, hear, see, know, God is working with, in and through you, in, with and through me. I may be here sitting at my desk, typing out my meditation, but just as thoughts not just actions, not just words, but thoughts, have consequences in God’s realm, God’s Kingdom, so, somehow, in some mysterious way, united with all, through with and in Jesus, what I am being given, what is being revealed to me, what I stand under and reverently see, humbly receive, is received, seen, understood, by the Church, the Community of God, the People of God in Jesus…and the Kingdom grows. Thus, like John, we are chosen, we are needed, we are sent by God for His purpose…and as we live out our daily lives in accordance with that purpose, His Will, we assist in building the Kingdom, one breath, one moment, one thought, word and action at a time. Amen. Alleluia!!!

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

6/28/13
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
In him was life. The Word was life…not alive…but life itself, that Divine spark of vitality that is the difference between rocks and chemicals and all that is alive. A pulsation toward self-awareness, self-expression, self-being, self-existence. From the microscopic microbe to man, the Divine blows through our bodies as the Spirit of God, continually enlivening, enabling, energizing, each to its own providential end. It is for this that they were created, to fulfill the destiny hardwired into them by God. Only in the instance of man does that life exceed the limits of normal predestination and break free into the realm of choice, willing in accord with or contrary to one’s providential end. Although Goodness is set before us as our destiny, the fruit of the tree poisoned our will and reinforced our choice of naming all things either as they truly are or, unfortunately, as we define them to be. Our share in the creative ability of God corrupted…and Good and Evil no longer were solidified as they are for other creatures, but the distinction became maleable; still terribly distinct, they could be seen as their opposite…and thus, sin entered the world. That is why the Way, the Truth and the Life are One.

The Life was the Light of men, a beacon and a goal. One, yet now shared. Model, Guide and in-able-er, that by which we are able to intuit and incorporate the dicta and imitate the model. On our own, without sharing His life, without Divine Life within us, re-conforming out wills to his plan, His Will, we would wander hopelessly lost.

Push Pause and Pray. Pray thankgiving that in the turmoil of life I have been given the grace, time, opportunity, understanding, love and guidance to welcome, love and nourish that Life, that Light within me. Pray contrition that, in spite of this great gift, or rather, in spite, I have often turned my back on this greatest gift and chosen instead to darkness, the death of sin. Pray mercy, that God in his Goodness would accept my sorrow and help me to stand again, to walk on to the light, hand in hand. Pray awareness, that as I journey, I am cognizant, bewildered and bereft at those who have never had or thrown away their key to happiness, their simple faith in Jesus, their following Him. Pray petition that the Lord of the Harvest would not only send workers for the harvest but Cultivators, Sowers, Planters, Weeders, Rain and Sunshine, Food and Drink to each and every one of His children, especially those most in need of His tending. Pray rejoicing for the knowledge and evidence that your Mercy is a work in the world and that many, many have been welcomed back home. Pray thanksgiving, having come full circle, to continually grow in our adoration, love and affection for you and your awe-some, awe-filled plan of salvation for all. Amen. Alleluia!!!

“He was in the beginning with God.” Jn 1:2

6/26/13

“He was in the beginning with God.” Jn 1:2  An innocuous repetition or a new revelation?..The Spirit does not waste words. “He” has two referents: the stated, the Word, and the implied, Jesus, the Christ. The purpose of this sentence, then, is to bring the reader/listener to the realization that the Word to which John was referring in the first, seemingly repetitive sentence but really is a three layer revelation: The Word existed from the Beginning, was therefore with God, and was not only with Him, but in the mystery of the Trinity, was one in BEING, was God, plus the realization that this Word was not only God but simultaneously Jesus, the Christ. This “seemingly” totally human person was also and most importantly totally Divine, was the Word, was God, was with God in the beginning.

Why did the Son of God become Jesus: to do, to be what neither God nor Man could do separately: Be totally and completely obedient to the Father. This required complete knowledge of the Father’s will, not filtered, not discerned, not “through a glass, darkly,” but immediate, continuous, fully comprehended. It also required complete submission to that will: absolute acceptance with perfect understanding of the implications, consequences, ramifications and all possible, probable and implied outcomes of such commitment. Only God could completely comprehend God’s will for only God could completely encompass the mind of God.

Only man could be completely submissive to God’s will for only man is a creature totally dependent on God, yet totally free. The Son is not totally dependent on God, but is God. “I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.” Jn 6:38 “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.” Jn 4:34

And what is that will: “And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.” Jn 6: 39-40. Luke puts it more graphically: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” Lk 12:49 Amen. Alleluia!!!

Get ahead of that curve?

6/23/13
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people.
Day by day, day in and day out…they persevered over time. And progressed. They labored, they endured.  Help me to realize that God should not “be grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” The question, can we ever get ahead of that curve…no, and the reason is simple. In comparison with all that God has done for me, my service is not only negligible but unworthy of even mentioning. Second, when compared with my sins and offenses, it barely touches the surface…dust on the scales only. And third, I am humus, a creature, I was made to praise, reverence and serve God…this is my purpose in life and that is all-encompassing; in my delusion, I imagine that there is a scales, there is a tit-for-tat, an exchange of services. That is a sinful man’s lens, my lens of pride and false independence, not the reality which comes into focus for the humble, the contrite, the forgotten and ignored, the remnant…they, note I struggle to include myself among them, usually unsuccessfully, realize their place in the divine universe, the cosmos; they are humble and accept their role not only graciously but with thanksgiving, gratitude, joy and exuberance, with delight and eagerness, as an honor and a privilege. I pray to God for this attitude, desire this attitude, long for this attitude in my more realistic and rational moments. Bending my back to this cross, this juncture of earth and heaven, this dias upon which we all must abide, is impossible for me alone. Those who heard this said, “Then who can be saved?” And he said, “What is impossible for human beings is possible for God.” Amen. Alleluia!!!

Jesus’ humanity

Do we appreciate the fact that the Son of God, He to whom all creation owes its existence, He whom is one with the Father, this Divine Person showed us the ultimate patience and humility, first manifested in residing cooped up for 9 months as a fetus in Mary’s womb. This is love, not that we loved him first, but that he loved us, and gave himself up for us, while we were still in our sin! He loved us so much, he became one of us, taking on every lowly and tedious aspect of our existence, the process of growing, the routine of rising, working, resting, sleeping, eating and starting over again and again, taking joy in life’s highlights, the festivals in Jerusalem, the birthdays, anniversaries and weddings at home. Living through life’s sadnesses: Joseph’s death, natural and man-made tragedies, subjugation by Rome and its minions, leavings. And enduring trials: hunger, pain, sickness, poverty, privation.

For us, this is our lot, our existence, unchosen, at times unwanted. He freely, with a freedom so far surpassing our own that there is, in essence, literally, no comparison, a freedom unbounded by limitations or requirements, a freedom the limits of which are self-established by the substance of His Being, e.g. a square circle,…He freely chose finitude, frailty, finality…all the imposed attributes by which we are eternally bound and from which we eternally seek to free ourselves. Perhaps there is a lesson therein, perhaps in these seeming constraints there is goodness, blessing, beatitude. Perhaps there is the essence of becoming like little children, of humility, a grounding in who I am and loving me, embracing me, rejoicing in me. For God created me just as I am, and saw that it was “very Good.” Amen. Alleluia!!!