Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”

9/14/13
Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”
How often we address these words to God…”How can these things be?” Though we do not question being born again of water and the Spirit, though we do not question those born of the Spirit being like the wind, we are apt to question everything else that happens in our lives. We do not trust God. We do not look upon the unfolding of our lives as being part of the plan of God. Instead, we look upon both the good and the “bad” that swirl around us as isolated incidents having little to do with our Sunday Eucharist. We look upon them as random happenings, without the golden thread of Providence weaving them into the fabric of the Kingdom. We look upon them as we look upon ourselves, equally foolishly, as being entirely independent, without biological and spiritual ties to every other person on this planet. Little wonder if we, to preserve the illusion of our own “freedom,” do not project the same mirage on the world about us.
It is under this guise that we have justified the exploitation of our natural resources, the contamination of our atmosphere, the deprivation of the basics of life to millions of our brothers and sisters, the hoarding of “wealth,” which in reality is nothing more than scarce commodities which are meant to be shared.
“How can these things be?” We stand in wonder, stupefied, not, ironically, at our own ignorance and idiocy, but at the natural and foreseen consequences of our own deliberate and inconsiderate, in the root meaning of that term, actions. As the phrase goes: “Duh????”
God, we have eyes but do not see, ears but do not hear, brains but do not think. The Idol that we have created is not of gold or wood or brass, though these are a part of it. The Idol is in-dependence, any lack of ties to anything or anyone. We do not acknowledge our complete and utter reliance on You for every heartbeat, every feeling, every sight, every sound, every step, every bit of life we experience every moment of every hour of every day. This should not come as a complete surprise, for how can we acknowledge You who we do not see, if we do not acknowledge our dependence on, our relation with, our oneness in the unity of the human race, indeed the creation itself, from the farthest star to the infinitesimal neutrinos that whiz through our bodies millions of times a day. No, God is not his creation; our oneness with God is one sided, in a sense. We are creation and creation is us. That is how these things can be. Amen. Alleluia!!!

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The “Must”

The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise. Lk 24:7 The critical “must.” From Heaven itself, we learn that it was a “must” that Jesus be arrested, tortured, die on the cross and rise. No way around it, over it, under it, only through it. That was the cup of Gethsemane. The “must.”

But why, why the “must.” God could have wiped away the debt due from sin with one nod, one wave. But with it would have gone all justice as well as mercy, all comfort as well as contrition, all trust as well as love. It would have been the act of a capricious child, not a omniscient Good God. Not a God who loves us as we are, mired in sin and death, who accepts the decisions of our vacillating wills, free as they terribly, ominously are. The most devastating bomb on earth is not made by human hands, it is free will…but at the same time, it is our most precious and sacred gift.

Many creatures have intellects, not as developed or lucid as ours, but intellects. I question whether we can call ourselves “rational animals” if we limit “rational” to simply knowing. No, only if it is tied inextricably to willing, doing, being rational, do we deserve that definition. Therefore, I submit that it is free will, that which indeed makes us most like God, which makes us most human. And it is free will which was surrendered to the “must.” God showed us in His Divine Son the way to Himself is by using that free will to choose “yours be done.”