Thursday, March 17, 2016

A deeper relationship with God.

John 8:51-59

I posted yesterday about my re-conversion to the Catholic faith and that it was a result of knowing the Truth, Jesus. As I reflect on today's Gospel reading I find that I must recognize different levels of "knowing" God. In the beginning, when I took my first steps back toward the Father, I was emotional, and full of excitement. As I grew into this new way of life, I must admit that my knowledge of Jesus was superficial. Basically, I knew about Him but didn't truly know Him. I was zealous for the faith and for God not necessarily because of a deep love but because of the way it made me feel. The faith, faith in Jesus and His Church, after all had brought me back from the edge of total destruction. I followed the motions and the rules because they worked. The rules and signs kept me on the right path and away from the tragic wreckage of sin.

However, this couldn't last for ever. No lasting relationship is ever built solely on the way one makes another feel. Eventually Jesus challenged me to really get to know Him. He didn't want me to simply follow Him because of the way it made me feel. He wanted more. He wanted me totally. He wanted my heart and soul. It was time for a deepening of our relationship. Like any human relationship - friends, family, marriage - often that deepening is marked by struggle, sacrifice, suffering, and long periods of conversation and healing.

In today's Gospel Jesus is trying to foster a deeper relationship with the Jews and God. He is trying to bring them to a new level of "knowing". There is no doubt that these men knew much about God but they were living at a superficial level. They were not going deep into the heart of God. Jesus attempts to show them that all that has happened up to this point - Abraham, the prophets, and all the rest - was pointing to this moment of grace, His coming. For many, however, this was too much. Their hearts were so hard at this point that they could not hear what was being said to them. They thought they knew God but they could not hear His voice or see His face as He stood before them. Their pride in "knowing" about God made them blind and deaf, unable to see, hear or know I AM.

Lord, help me to love you more today.  Help me to be open to what it is you are calling me toward.  Open my ears, my eyes, and my heart to know you intimately regardless of how I may feel.

FROM THE SAINTS - "Doubt, whether it concerns the field of knowledge or the good name of others, is a plant that is easily sown but very difficult to root out." - Saint Josemaria Escriva Furrow # 603

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