As the Father loves Jesus, so he loves us, and we are to love one another.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you” (Jn 15:9).
God created us to be loved, and to love. The love that Jesus is talking about is unconditional and not just relegated to those closest to us, although, hopefully, in our families and friendships is where we first experienced being loved and learned to love in return.
The love that Jesus commands that we are to participate in as his followers, is a going out from, a giving of ourselves to one another. We are not to seek in return, but are to empty and give ourselves away. The return we get is from experiencing the infinite wellspring and source of the Holy Spirit the rises up within us. The more we hold back, the less we receive, the more we give, the more we experience. We are to resist withdrawing our love and assuming a selfish posture that leads to us becoming more like a stagnant pool. Instead, we are to remain open so as to allow the living stream of God’s infinite love to flow through us.
The love Jesus commands cannot be done on the fly. Love is accepting the interruption and choosing to be present. Love means stopping, setting aside our agendas, and accompanying another. Love is also not coercion and manipulation, it is accepting another as they are and where they are. Love is sharing the journey of life together. St Thomas Aquinas has written it well: Love is to will the good of the other as other. This is more than mere emotion, feeling, or sentiment but actually wanting the best for someone else and to rejoice in their becoming fully alive. We are also not a doormat. We hold people accountable – for to love is also to be clear about respecting our’s and another’s dignity and boundaries.
This practice of love is also not exclusive but universal. Yes, we are to love those in our family, community, place of worship, tribe, political party, and nation, while at the same time we must be willing to go out from our comfort zones and protected bubbles to risk opening ourselves up to those who we feel are different, those who do not see the world as we see it, and even those we consider our enemies. This does not mean we have to agree or even like someone else, but we are commanded to love, to respect the dignity of the person as our starting point.
A dialogue grounded in love means that we are to state clearly our beliefs, our thoughts, and dreams, but also allow others to do the same. In this way, though we may differ in our points of view, we can see how we are much more alike than we are different. When we talk at and over one another, demean, belittle, or are condescending to one another, we dehumanize. In an open dialogue, we begin to encounter the person and the prejudicial caricature we carry begins to dissolve. Instead of keeping each other at arm’s length, we can then learn to embrace and grow from one another. From a place of mutual, loving dialogue, we can recognize and remember again who we are, friends, brothers and sisters on this journey we call life.
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Photo: Wolf Den Pow Wow, with my hunka father, Fire Hawk, in late 80’s. He lived and loved life to the full.

Link for Mass readings for May 19, 2022: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/051922.cfm

Connected to the vine, we mature and bear fruit.

In today’s Gospel reading, we experience the imagery of the vine and the branches. As the branch of the vine matures, it begins to look more like the vine itself. As it remains connected, is sustained by the nourishment provided, and protected by the vine grower, the branches become more and more conformed to the vine. This is also true in the event that a branch not originally attached to the vine is grafted to it. Over time, the branches are almost indistinguishable from the vine itself.
Our hope, as disciples of Jesus, no matter what our background, culture, gender, ethnicity, or race will be the same. We are to be one as the Son and the Father are one. As St Paul has written to the Churches in Galatia and Collosse: In Christ there is neither Jew or Greek, circumcision or uncircumcision, male or female, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free because we are all one in Christ (cf. Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11).
We are not to be automatons, cyborg, ants, all following mindlessly. Being a Christian means the opposite, the more we are conformed to Jesus, the more we come to know him and also to really come to know the uniqueness of ourselves. When we let go of the pressures to conform to that which stunts our growth, we can then begin to embrace who we are in the truth of our reality and dignity. That sense of being fully who we are that sometimes just wants to burst out is allowed to be free when we die to our false selves and live in Christ.
We are constantly tempted with turning in upon ourselves and when we do so, we disconnect ourselves from the vine, from the very source of our life. Just as the body will suffer without water regularly, so our soul will suffer if we are separated from the living spring of our sustenance. Remaining attached to Jesus, the vine, means that we will mature and live our life to the full, with joy that reaches out beyond ourselves to serving the needs of others, thus bearing fruit to share.
We can bear fruit that will last today and all days by putting the words of St Paul into action: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:12-15).
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Photo by Luiz M. Santos: https://www.pexels.com/photo/purple-grapes-760280/
Link for the Mass readings for Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Is peace possible?

Have you ever wondered why there is so much violence? How many countries, including our own, were founded on taking of lands by force and oppression of aboriginal peoples? Another war has arisen with the violent incursion of Russia into Ukraine. Has there ever been a time without war? How many of our youth and citizens die from gun violence and mass murders; another one most recently in Buffalo with the death of ten people? So many examples of road rage, domestic abuse, human trafficking, terrorism – foreign and domestic, and the myriad of random acts of violence that are occurring daily?
We often hear goodwill speeches, petitions, and intercessions ringing from our pulpits and prayer groups, participate and see people march, and vote for change. There are those working in the trenches, putting their own lives at risk, matching their words and their deeds, yet do any of these efforts make a difference? And we have been overshadowed by the pandemic for the past two plus years.
Amidst our own experiences, directly and indirectly, and with the constant temptation of cynicism and despair biting at our heels, the words of Jesus are proclaimed in today’s Gospel from John: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (Jn 14:27).
The peace that surpasses all understanding, the peace that is not of this world, has been and continues to be offered to us as a gift. Many have indeed said, “If there is a God, well then, why doesn’t he do anything?” He has. The reality is, the peace that God shares through his Son, is one person at a time. This is why when he resurrected he only appeared to those he chose and not the whole world. Even if he had, these experiences, in time, would have been attributed to mere myth and legend. Jesus must be encountered and his relationship is built with each person in each generation. What we pass on as disciples are our experiences of our relationship with him. Our accounts and presence provides for others the opportunity to open their hearts and minds to receive and enter into their own relationship with Jesus, to accept the gift of his grace that he offers.
This peace that Jesus offers is not some abstract formula and his command to love is not some pie in the sky universal love for all. The acts of peace and love Jesus shares throughout the Gospel are very concrete, individual, and personal. Jesus interacts with people as people, not as numbers. He interacts and directs us to do the same, by encountering, accompanying, and loving a person. The real question is not why isn’t God doing anything? The real question is why have we left the gift of his peace that he has given us unwrapped?
If we want peace, our heart and mind must be open to receive it, to embrace it, and to live it in the most minute of details. We also need to have the room to receive it so we must be willing to let go of our own weapons of hate, prejudice, cynicism, racism, paternalism, and the like. God created us as beings who are interconnected, which means that what one does affects all, for the sun rises and sets on the good and the bad alike.
If we want peace, we need to be more aware and mindful of our thoughts, words, actions, and even the expressions on our faces. The thoughts that we feed are the ones that bear fruit in our words and deeds. Figuratively and literally, we need to be willing to “beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks” (cf. Isaiah 2:4).
This verse becomes real in our lives when we disagree with someone and resist being disagreeable and instead respect the person. When we make a mistake, we resist beating ourselves up over the process and instead look to learn from our misstep, and begin again. We also need to be willing to offer the same understanding and patience to someone who speaks or acts in a way that gets under our skin.
Can we really bring about world peace? In some abstract form, for all people, for all time, no. What we can do, is choose to respect the dignity of each person we encounter. We can offer a smile, a random act of kindness, an encouraging ear or word, we can be patient and understanding, even with someone who we have kept at a distance. We can work in our communities to assess their unique needs and provide a voice and access where missing. What we need to decide today, is if we really want to receive the peace that Jesus gives and put it into practice, person to person as he did.
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Photo: Praying for those ten recently killed and their families in their time of mourning (photo accessed from Today show).
Link for the Mass reading for Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Our best relationships are grounded in discipline, accountability, and love.

Two points jump out of the Gospel of John today: commandments and love. How is each one of these related to living life as a disciple of Jesus? Often, many who hear the word commandments, often react and are immediately put off. “There goes the Church again telling me what I can and cannot do.” Yet what Jesus is doing is connecting the following of his commandments to being a true expression of loving him.
Love is another word that evokes reactions. One reason is that, even though the English language has a plethora of words to utilize and choose from, there is only one word for love and it is interpreted in many ways. In Ancient Greek, there are four words that are used to connote love. There is eros, which has to do with attraction. It is the beginning stage of love because we are drawn out of ourselves as we are attracted to another. The next word for love is philios, which has to do with friendship. This is the love between friends. If our love matures it moves from attraction or infatuation to friendship. The third word is storge or the deeper love shared with family members. The fourth word is agape, which is unconditional love.
When Jesus shares that we are to follow the commandments, he is not demanding that we do so as a tyrant would. He is providing the boundaries and parameters for us to grow and mature as people who love, who, in the words of St Thomas Aquinas, will the good of the other as other. As humans, we are social beings. We want to belong, to be accepted, and to be a part of. We seek meaning, purpose, and fulfillment in our lives. This is best done through cooperation and collaboration with God and with one another, striving to love unconditionally, agape.
If we operate from a self-centered posture in which we are only turned in upon our self, and we only seek to manipulate and get from others, instead of working for consensus and sharing a common vision with others, we will ultimately be empty with the exchange on any level, because we will be left wanting more. This is true because once the immediacy of the stimulation, whether material or sensual, ends, so does the experience of the feeling. Some happiness may linger from the effect, but we will never be filled or satisfied with finite things. We will continue to seek more and more until the pursuit of instant and constant gratification ensnares us and we are entangled in a web of addiction.
The commandments, grounded in love, are meant to provide boundaries for us, training wheels, and to keep us free from enslavement to sin, while at the same time help us to be persons who move away from being self-centered to maturing as other-centered instead. Discipline in this way is meant to be a means of freedom for excellence such that we can become who God calls us to be and who we truly desire to be. God is not in competition with us. He is our biggest fan. As St Irenaeus wrote, the glory of God is the human being fully alive!
Commandments and morality imposed without reason or an end goal is a bludgeon. Love and mercy without accountability and justice can be enabling. Jesus provides the blueprint for a balanced both/and approach. May we seek opportunities to be loving guides, to align ourselves with the Holy Spirit, who is the Love expressed and shared between the Father and the Son. May we seek where we can improve our lives so we can be more mindful and whole, to be more honest with our weaknesses, and to seek God when we are tempted to choose him instead of sin, and seek his forgiveness when we have fallen.
As we journey in this life, we do not do so alone. As we seek to follow Jesus’ lead, as we grow and mature, we do so while in the midst of encountering and forming relationships with others. Conformed by following the commandments, we are to reach out in love to each other as Jesus has done with us. As we form and deepen our relationships, new and old, may we encourage, support, and love one another while at the same time, challenge and hold each other accountable as we strive to be who Jesus invites us to be.
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Photo: Building friendships!
Link for the Mass readings for Monday, May 16, 2022

Let us love one another as Jesus loves us.

“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34).
We are capable of loving because Jesus has loved us first. All of creation is an expression and an outpouring of the divine love and communion of the Trinity. Love, if it is true, goes out from the self to be there for the other. St. Paul wrote that love is patient and kind (1 Cor 13:4). These are virtues that flow out of our willing the good of the other as other.
When we act with patience, we love because we resist the temptation to react and strike out. We do not seek to protect our ego, but seek to understand and be present to the person. We see them beyond their brokenness, we resist fueling and feeding their frustrations by not adding our own impatient responses, and thereby help to dissipate any growing negativity. Instead we allow Jesus to love the person through us. We listen, accompany and guide.
When we are kind, we do so because we resist returning hurtful acts with acts of love, seeking nothing in return. We are kind because this is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. We are not kind in the hope that people are kind in return. We are kind because that is the foundation our being, this is our posture and disposition that we direct toward those we encounter.
So often we do not know what another is going through. When someone cuts us off in the course of our travel, we do not have to react in anger, but can choose instead to send a blessing, that the driver may find peace of mind, slow down and have a safe trip. We can pray that all those driving may drive mindfully so all may be safe on the road.
When someone is short or curt with us, instead of reacting by being sharp or snarky in return, we can take a breath, and ask Jesus in that moment to be present in us and minister through us to the person in our midst. We can choose to be open to loving the person as Jesus loves us, accepting them as they are in that moment, and being willing to allow the Holy Spirit to be present in our encounter with them.
Some good beginning steps that I have found to love another is to be patient and kind in the moment, to smile, and offer my hand in greeting and be available to listen. These very simple acts do have a cost in that our ego and focus on self becomes less, but what we gain in return is that Jesus becomes more and we see each other as human beings. In these simple acts we say to the other, even before we have said anything with our words, that they are important to us, they have worth and dignity, because we are willing to make the time to acknowledge and respect their presence, not reacting to and defining them by their weakness and brokenness in that moment.
“This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35).

Photo: CN Strong, patience and kindness in action!
Link for the Mass readings for Sunday, May 15, 2022

“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete” (John 15:11).
What is this referring too? “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.”
And what is his commandment? “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”
Even when life appears pretty dark and division and suffering seem to be waiting around every corner, we need not give up, give in to cynicism, and/or fall into despair. God wants us to experience joy and fulfillment despite our experiences and not through being lemmings or slaves but as Jesus said, “friends”. The friends of Jesus are those who hear and share the word that Jesus has received from his Father which are his commandments, the greatest of these is to love.
We will be happy and fulfilled when we align our will with the will of God who is Love. St. Irenaeus taught that the joy of God is the human being fully alive. For us to be fully alive, we are to love as God loves us. God keeps inviting us to receive his love and his joy, to be happy. Many of us do not experience the fullness of this joy because we are distracted and diverted by what appears to be good. With time and experience, we often find in fact they are not. Much of what we expend our energy doing are feeble substitutes.
Neither will we experience fulfillment and joy through denying, covering over, or being so busy that we don’t have to face the sufferings in our or other’s lives. We ease and grow from our suffering by entering into it. Jesus meets us in our suffering with his arms wide open and we begin our healing at the root. By willing our good and the good of others, we can alleviate some of the suffering in our realm of influence as well. Each day we need to decide if we are to curl up into our shell or to be an agent of healing and love and by doing so, we can make our corner of the world a little better.

Photo: With JoAnn, who taught me how to come out of my shell, to live and to love.
Mass readings for Saturday, May 14, 2022

Too busy? Pray. Too busy to pray? Pray.

Our days are so full of activities, conflicts, health issues, technological stimulation, 24/7 news cycles, social media interaction, division, polarization, and mix into all of this, ongoing warfare in Syria, Yemen, and between Russia and Ukraine, which can all contribute to our emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual unrest. If we do not have the proper foundation and orientation, we can feel stretched, hollow, and/or fatigued at best. One day can seem to blend into another, and another, and another. The image of being on a hamster wheel or an unending treadmill can fall afresh in our mind’s eye when we actually do take a minute to breathe. Anxiety, worry, stress, fear, prescriptions, and addictions all appear to be on the rise and swirling out of control.
Is there an answer to this hyper pace or are we doomed to just keep going until the wheels fall off? The opening verse in today’s reading provides an antidote when we begin to feel agitated or unsettled by any or all of the above .
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me” (Jn 14:1).
We are invited to place our trust in God through his Son, Jesus. By putting them first does not mean that the externals to our life will take an abrupt turn for the better, but what it does mean is that we will have support and divine assistance. It means that we are not alone in our struggles. The disciples found this out when in the midst of a sudden sea squall. Their boat was taking on water as the waves grew higher they were terrified and so, called to a sleeping Jesus. Jesus awoke and with a word, he calmed the sea (cf. Mk 4:35-41).
Jesus may or may not calm the sea of our trials and tribulations, but what he will do is be present with us through our storms in life and we can trust in him that he will guide us through. As we grow more confident in our trust in Jesus we will come to be assured that no matter who or what comes at us, he will be there to assist us. Then will experience more peace and calm within ourselves – no Prozac or Zoloft required. The ultimate assurance that Jesus provides is that when we surrender our life to him we belong to him, we are not alone or orphaned. He gave his life for us, to redeem and save us so that we can be assured of our home for eternity.
Our trust and faith in Jesus will grow when we realize that building the foundation of a prayer practice and a relationship with him, as with any other person, takes time spent together. The best part is that Jesus will help us. As we seek his discernment, he will show us where we can make changes in our life. Our first step is to allow ourselves to make periodic efforts to stop in our day to be still.
This time does not need to be lengthy, three to five minutes to start can do wonders. On the surface level, by stopping for five minutes to pray and breathe more deeply and consciously, we get off the wheel, we step out of survival and reaction mode, so we can then make more mindful decisions, and we can come to see that we truly have options, but more importantly, we begin to experience a growing relationship and intimacy with Jesus so as to begin to recognize his voice and receive more guidance.
The Liturgy of the Hours, meditation and as part of my recovery from pneumonia, a newly introduced stretching routine, has provided a good anchor for me. When I went to the emergency room a year ago January, I made sure to bring my breviary and rosary in case I was hospitalized which I was for five days.
Having set times to stop to meditate and pray throughout the day has been helpful, especially on those days when my schedule is full to overflowing. Author Wanda E. Brunstetter, wrote, “If you are too busy to pray, you are busier than God wants you to be.” There is a lot of truth in her statement. I have had busy days, weeks and months, where I have wondered if taking the time to pray and meditate was really the most sensible choice. Time and again it has been. I have also been pondering during my recovery about the fact that I have been way too busy for some time.
The Rosary is another great way to get into God’s word by meditating on the mysteries of the life of Jesus and Mary. If you are not able to pray the whole Rosary in one sitting, start with one decade a day. Read for a few minutes from the Bible once in the morning and then return to meditate on the same verse or verses that touch or challenge you throughout the day. You can also read the daily Mass readings and place your self in the scene and allow the account to open up before you as if were actually there.
Each of these practices offer us a few of the many ways to stop the madness, to slow down, simplify, and connect with the power, the love, and the grace that Jesus yearns to share with us such that no matter the external or internal upheaval, we may experience his peace, that peace that surpasses all understanding (cf. Philippians 4:7). An important point to keep in mind is that we need to be aware of the season we are in, and our particular station in life. Rising an infant your very young children is a key priority. Taking time to pray is important for renewal and guidance, but those times will be shorter and more flexible than for someone who is retired.
It is always important to begin small, seek Jesus’ guidance and take baby steps. What is important is that we pray daily, how long is not, and as we grow in this process our life will adjust and there will be activities that we realize we can let go of because they really aren’t helping us to deepen our relationship with God and we will begin to see what are real and healthy priorities that we need to maintain.
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Photo: My anchors for slowing down to hear God in the quiet of my heart.
Link for the Mass readings for Friday, May 13, 2022

Being a disciple means we are willing to serve others.

Today’s Gospel from John begins as Jesus had just finished washing the feet of his disciples. Jesus then said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him” (Jn 13:16). Jesus not only taught the truth that God the Father sent his Son to serve and not be served, he modeled this practice consistently.
From his conception, gestation, and birth, the Son of God developed as a human being in the very simplest of conditions and endured the hardships of those on the margins. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were political refugees very soon after his birth. The young family was forced to flee from Bethlehem to Egypt. When Herod the Great died they returned to Nazareth, and other than the incident in the Temple, we hear nothing about the life of Jesus until he begins his public ministry. The most likely reason for this was that there was nothing to tell. Jesus most likely apprenticed with Joseph, in the trade of a simple tektōn, a woodworker, which was pretty low on the rung of the social ladder.
Through the short time of his ministry, Jesus modeled for his disciples what a follower of his entailed and what it meant to be one of his successors. To follow in his footsteps they would need to participate in servant leadership. He not only taught them but lived and modeled that there is no task too menial that we can’t roll up our sleeves and dive in to help. There is no person too other that we can’t assist when they are in a need.
A good prayer and meditation for us today is to ask Jesus to reveal for us how we have resisted his urgings in the past regarding serving others as well as when we have refused to interact or treat someone with anything less than the basic human dignity which they deserved. Have we ever thought that what he was asking of us was beneath us? Have there been people we have kept at arm’s length or refused to reach out to? For those ways in which we have withdrawn within ourselves and refused to be of help may we ask for his forgiveness.
Being willing to allow Jesus to shed some light on our lack of embracing opportunities to serve is a good place to begin. Then renewed with his forgiveness and healing touch, may we be more willing to be bearers of the understanding, grace and mercy which we have received. May we be more open to each of the people and/or tasks that God will place before us, the discernment to know his will, and the clarity and courage to act as his servant with humility and without hesitation.
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Photo: Our first Cross Catholic Outreach Hunger Challenge at St. Peter.
Link for the Mass reading for Thursday, May 12, 2022

Let us receive and share the light of Jesus with others.

“I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:46).
What might be the darkness that Jesus refers to? It could be anything that turns us within ourselves, away from that which is True, Good, and Beautiful. This can be prejudice, ignorance, cynicism, sin, violence, hatred, racism, war, division, dehumanization, and the list goes on.
A major root that keeps us in this darkness is fear. Jesus offers us the light of his Father. He encourages us to leave our self-imposed imprisonment by loving us as we are, more than we can imagine, and more than we can ever mess up. Christianity is not just a set of moral principles, a set of doctrines, a philosophy, or a theology. Christianity is about an encounter with a person, the Son of God, Jesus the Christ.
The light of Jesus leads and invites us to experience that which we have been created and are restless for – an intimate relationship with God the Father and each other. Through the light of his love, Jesus reveals to us those apparent goods, false substitutes, and idols that distract us and keep us separated from deepening our relationship with God. We come to know God when we are willing to receive the love of the Holy Spirit, to be ourselves by letting go of our masks, and are moved to share that love with each other.
Jesus, please help us to resist any selfish impulse or reaction based on any fears or past hurts and guide us instead to love as you have loved us. Help us to be led by you to participate in simple acts such as a smile, an offer assistance, to reach out, to be present, and willing to listen, and/or to choose to be more understanding, supportive, and encouraging. In these small ways, please shine in and through us, then out toward others. Help us to trust that the darkness will not overcome the radiance of your light!

Photo: Sacred Heart of Jesus statue on the grounds of St Peter Catholic Church, Jupiter FL
Link for the Mass readings for Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Trust the Good Shepherd.

Jesus continues to present the imagery of the shepherd in today’s Gospel reading from John. He offers the assurance of security and protection that is to be found for those that are in his fold when he says, “No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one” (Jn 10:28-30). How does one enter the fold of the Good Shepherd? All who hear his voice and follow him will be known by him and so be a part of his flock.
Yet, there are those who hear his voice and do not recognize the Shepherd. They do not follow him and so are not known by him, although he seeks them out. They may know about the Shepherd, have heard of him, but do not know him. Their hearts and minds are closed. They do not believe in his miracles, his exorcisms, his teachings, and the question of those opposing him in today’s reading is, “If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly” (Jn 10:24). Jesus did just that by saying that he and the Father are one. The response to the forthright comment of Jesus is that those who are closed to his answer pick up rocks to throw at him (see Jn 10:31).
Jesus offers the gift of relationship with him and his Father, to experience the love shared between them, the Holy Spirit. This offer is without condition. Jesus is open about who he is, who we are, and who we can become in participation with him. Those who say no to his invitation do so for their own reasons; a demand for proof, a listing of the terms and conditions that need to be met first, assurances sought for, and/or excuses offered, diversions, distractions, temptations, and many unique to each person. Just as Jesus invites us to freely come to him, he will only come so far as we are willing to receive him. He does not conform to us or to our will.  Jesus does not need us, yet he loves us by willing our ultimate good.
Even we who have said yes, only go so far. We hedge our bets, dip our toes into the water, and maybe go in ankle-deep, but not too many of us are willing to relinquish control, let go, and surrender fully all at once. Jesus offers, eternal life, true, but also a life of meaning and fulfillment now. A perfect life? No, there will continue to be challenges, conflicts, mistakes, and mis-steps as well as Jesus’ voice continuing to call us to follow him to go into the deeper waters, to seek freedom from our anxieties, fears, and weaknesses. He urges us to face conflicts, to be disciplined in resisting temptations of apparent goods, and to risk and trust him as he has his Father.
Through all our experiences, the ups and downs, the only assurance is that we are not alone. No matter what we may face today or tomorrow, we can be assured that Jesus will never let us go and no one can take us out of his hand. Each step of the journey we take, we can be confident that Jesus, our Good Shepherd, will be there to guide and protect us.
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Photo: Accessed online
Link for the Mass readings for Tuesday, May 10, 2022