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Opening to Jesus

by davesandel on May 13th, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sixth Sunday of Easter

John 15:12

Jesus said, “Love each other in the same way that I have loved you.”

            In Shaped by the Word  Robert Mulholland says each of us is “a word spoken by God into the world.”  We are precious, not just in God’s sight, but in each other’s.  Mulholland, a New Testament scholar, also suggests an alternative translation for Mark 12:30-31.  The two greatest commandments, Jesus says, are “Love the Lord your God will all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength.  And the second is another way of saying the same thing: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I can only love this way because Jesus loves me.  And as Jesus loves me, there is nothing else I can do.  Without Jesus it’s impossible to love like this.  With Jesus it’s impossible not to love like this.

James Finley avoids the double negative, saying it this way: “Without Christ we are nothing.  The Father creates us moment by moment through Christ the Word … Our reality is then our union with God who is reality itself” (The Awakening Call).

Now married and a father, Finley spent many years under the spiritual direction of Thomas Merton at Gethsemani monastery in Kentucky.  During that time he read practically nothing but scripture, philosophy, The Cloud of Unknowing and the works of St. John of the Cross.

When I seek fulfillment outside my union with God, when I become attached to the beauty or worth of anything made, any “creature,” it is the same as refusing to let God “create me moment by moment.”  Yet, that is just what I do.  With Paul in Romans 7, what I want to do I do not do.  What I do not want to do, I do.  Who will rescue me from this body of death?

I cannot rescue myself.  That kind of striving caused the problem in the first place.  So – and here Finley paraphrases John of the Cross – “we sit.”

“We sit in the torment of our separation from the delight that is God.  We sit in the poverty of our loss of the wealth that is God.  We sit as an act of childlike confidence that God’s will for us to share in his delight, to be heirs of the wealth he is, will be realized within us.”

Not that I sit out the serving and the work and the getting the soup ready, washing the dishes, cleaning up for tomorrow.  Not that.  But when none of that really floats my boat anymore, and when my prayers run dry, and when not much seems to matter, … in the absence of the attention and praise and satisfaction which my ego always demands, God’s rescue operation gets under way.  God is reclaiming what he gave me as a gift but I have taken over for myself.

And then, wonder of wonders, I begin to love like Jesus loves me.

Hold me in your hands, heavenly Father.  Whisper to me the name you have known me by for all eternity, and sing your songs to me while I cry and fall asleep in your arms.  Teach me by your touch this way you have of loving.  You are so good, you are so good.

http://christiancounselingservice.com/archived_devotions.php?article_id=1093

 

 

 

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