Me? A Pharisee?

21 Dec

 

Reaching Up

Come on, Lord, you can’t mean me?

But, apparently, he did.

Why am I thinking about Pharisees just before the great feast of the Nativity of our Lord?

Just bear with me.

It happened one morning as I intently reflected on Jesus in Gethsemane. He was suffering great anguish as he faced a night of abuse and condemnation and the horrible death that awaited him the next day, the day we call Good Friday.

My attention was focused on his prayer to his Father: “Not my will, but yours be done.”

Recently, two good friends gave a Divine Will prayer to Peg and me. It helps me realize that I can’t obey and totally love God unless I “fuse” my will to his Divine Will. As Jesus did, I must want what God wants for every moment of my life.

I have a free will. I can choose to be one with him or to step away. But, if I am to follow Christ, I cannot stop short of total union with my God.

Too often, I have shoved my quest for a good, holy and moral life into separate little files, focusing on what not to do: one for inappropriate language, one for gluttony, and still a different one for envy and so on.

To live a fully human life, I must unite my will to his Divine Will—and do so every minute of every day. And when I fail him, I must rush to “re-fuse” my will to his.

Is that not the goal of a true response to his call for oneness with us?

 So, what about Christmas?

The Babe of Bethlehem is a gentle invitation into the warmth, gentleness and innocence of God. The crucified and dying Jesus is the ultimate exclamation of God’s love for all of us and his desire for us to be one with him both here and hereafter.

Let us have a whole and holy Christmas.

 

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