Saturday, July 8, 2017


Sometimes, the simplest truths are the deepest truths. The trouble is, because they're so simple, so basic, we don't spend much time thinking about them. They're just there.

We have one of those truths in today's passage from Matthew's Gospel. Jesus says, No one knows the Father except the Son...and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. Then, the very next thing Jesus says is, Come to me all you who are weary and are burdened.

Let's step back and look at that.

We call ourselves daughters and sons of God. Perhaps we think of this as a metaphor. We know our human frailties. Can we really be God's daughter or son? How can we be divine? Especially when we feel so burdened?

But God is so good and magnanimous that God calls us God's very children. Indeed Jesus said, I go to my Father and your Father.

This speaks volumes of how God sees us. How uplifting is that!

I see it every week as I visit those who are terminally ill or need a life-saving organ transplant. Their faith in God, knowing God is with them, that they are God's very own, gives them strength, and hope, and comfort.

This simple but profound truth makes a world of difference. Jesus came from the Father so that we could join ourselves to him. Jesus became one of us so that he could bring us into the same relationship with the Father. There's an old saying in our faith tradition, The divine became human, so that humans could become divine.

This is real, not "let's pretend". Jesus said, I came so that you may have life and have it to the full. I came to share with you the same Spirit that is in me. You will have God's own life within you, and you will come with me to God, and you will share in my own relationship with the Father. We will stand before God and I will say, 'This is my sister, my brother. These are your sons and daughters.' WHAT PEACE! WHAT JOY!

This is God's pure gift. And it is real. We are joined to Jesus Christ. We're not half-brothers, half-sisters. We receive the gift of his own Spirit. We have God's life within us. And Jesus takes us where we thought only he could go - to the heart of the God. Jesus says to us, You are what I am.

That's why we said two weeks ago, Have no fear!

All this becomes clearer when we think about Baptism. The traditional form of baptism is to be totally immersed in the water. The water represents Christ, and by entering the water we are joined with Christ, "grafted" into him, as it were. Moreover, we are vested in white, and by doing so we put on Christ, affirming our oneness with him.

Then there is Confirmation. We are anointed with the Chrism (the same word from which we get the word Christ), and the Spirit comes upon us, and stays with us. We receive the same Spirit that overshadowed Mary when she conceived Jesus, the same Spirit that descended upon Jesus at his baptism in the River Jordan. We have new life within us, God's life. We become sons and daughters of God.

As St. Paul reminds us today, The Spirit of God dwells in you. 

Then there is the Eucharist. When the bread and wine are brought forward and placed on the altar, they represent us. We then join with Jesus as he gives himself entirely into the hands of the Father. We join with him in giving ourselves entirely to God

That's why we said last week, Give our all to him and for him!

And when we come forward to receive the bread and cup, it isn't simply a private audience with Jesus. The body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus become part of our own body and soul. We become what we receive. No wonder Jesus says to us, Come to me, and I will give you comfort. I will give you rest.

That's the simple truth of it. Jesus came so that we could become one with him and so that he could bring us into his own relationship with God. It's not complicated. But it is profound. And it's the key to everything else we believe. It's the key of life!

If we let ourselves think about this truth, let ourselves truly believe it, then life is different. Every day looks different. All our burdens, fears, and tribulations are relieved. And death looks different too.

This week, think about it, and believe it. And ask yourself, What will I do to accept Jesus' invitation to go to him...and to see myself as he God's daughter...God's son?

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