Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday after the 4th Sunday in Lent

Dear Friends in Christ, 

You know me. (John 7:28)

Anyone with children, particularly teenagers, has heard it before: “I know.” You know they don’t know, but you can’t convince them of that! The inhabitants of Jerusalem were like that. “We know where he is from” (John 7:27). Actually, they didn’t know. But that didn’t matter. Nothing could disturb their satisfaction with what they thought they knew. Still, Jesus kept trying to get through to them. Ever faithful, ever patient, he never gave up hope.

Every day, Jesus comes to the “temple” of our own hearts for the very same reason. He wants us to know him. He wants us to know who he is and where he came from. This is the heart of the Christian message. It’s not about avoiding sin. It’s not about doing good things. It’s about knowing the One who has no beginning and no end, whom no eye has seen and no ear has heard. Everything flows from this, and without this knowledge of Christ—this intimate, personal encounter with him—our life of faith becomes weaker and weaker over time. 

None of us can know Jesus fully. We’re only human, and he is divine! Not to mention, our fallen nature places some veils over us that will be removed only when we enter heaven and see him face-to-face. Still, because his Spirit lives in us, we can grow closer to him every day.

How? First, read about him. Scripture paints a vivid picture of Jesus’ character—his kindness and patience, his desire to draw you to himself, his willingness to lay down his life for you. Start a list of what the daily Mass readings say about Jesus, and watch this list grow and deepen as you ponder it.

Second, ask him some questions that will help you know him better. “What were you thinking when … ?” “Why did you welcome Zacchaeus?” “What would you say to me if you met me at the town well?” Then wait quietly for the Holy Spirit to stir your thoughts or heart.

Finally, write down what you think, feel, or imagine in response to your questions. Keep it with you and ponder it often.

God hasn’t changed! He longs for you to know him!

“Lord, open my eyes to see you and my ears to hear you speak this Lent so that I might know you more!”

Wisdom 2:1, 12-22
Psalm 34:17-21, 23 

Father Ed Bakker 
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province 
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne 
Bendigo, Australia