Saturday, January 4, 2014

If thou art willing to suffer no adversity, how wilt thou be the friend of Christ?

“Jesus promised His disciples three things: that they would be entirely fearless, absurdly happy, and that they would get into trouble.”

Gospel Text: (JN 1:35-42)
John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher),
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah,” which is translated Christ.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas,” which is translated Peter.

I think the hardest question that we face in life is why.  Why am I joyful or hurting?  Why was I blessed in one way, but not in another?  Why does my cross seem to be lighter than someone else’s?  Why did my loved one have to die?  Why me?  Why, why, why…There is an infinite number of why questions that we could ask that seem to have no answer.  We could never adequately explain why things are the way that they are, and, often times, when we pray for an answer, God never seems to have one for us.

But what if He does?  What if God does have an answer for every why question we ever had?  I believe that He does and I believe that we hear it in today’s Gospel.  “Come, and you will see.” 

The analogy I have sometimes heard used is that of a tapestry.  In this life, we only see the back.  We see where it has been stitched together, where threads end and new ones start, where nothing seems to match up with anything else, and the entire thing looks like a mess.  But in Heaven, we will understand.  We will know, and we will rejoice.  We will see the other side of the tapestry, and its beauty will cause us to forget all of the painful experiences, all of the unanswerable “why” questions that we asked in this life.  But the Good News of the Gospel is that Jesus invites us to begin traveling down this road today. 

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