This past weekend I was blessed to attend our Newman center’s Camino retreat. It was so beautiful to watch students, some who were not even Catholic, fall in love with Christ in the Eucharist. This weekend I also was able to just sit face to face with Jesus and reflect on a lot of things. Lately, the word rebuke has been on my mind. In bible study last week we read: “When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way, they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village” Luke 9:51-56
The girls in my bible study and I laughed at the disciples’ response. Like who did these disciples think they were? why would they ask that? But then it wasn’t funny anymore because I realized those disciples are just like me. Like myself, I love Jesus, but just like them, I have allowed myself to build up this anger. I have become angry with the evil of the world. I am angry that people do not care to know Jesus, that they continue to live in sin. I have become impatient that no matter how hard I try to get people to go on these retreats, or come to bible study, they still say no. Jesus looks at me in this anger and he rebukes me. Not because He hates me, but because He loves me. The anger I am in is a place I can not remain. No, He wants me to remain with Him and in Him. He who is love, He who is rich and kindness and slow to anger. He says to me “my daughter do not lash out on them. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. Instead, console me, let them see you loving me, do not let them see you act in vain”.
I also just had to sit in His gaze and remember that Jesus loves me for me. He does not love me because of my zeal for souls, or because I bring this person or that person to Him. No, He loves me. Sitting there in my frustration and feeling defeated, I heard His still small voice say “I just want you.” And in a world that wants you for all the wrong reasons, and constantly pulls and then pushes you away, it’s nice to just hear those words. Like what a beautiful reminder of the relationship with the Father that we are made for.
God doesn’t love me because I write blogs, or because I go to mass or anything that I do. His love is freely given. And yes it hurts to see tik toks of a girl dancing joyfully in the waiting room of an abortion clinic, yes it hurts to hear ten thousand excuses as to why someone is to busy to come see Jesus, yes it makes me angry to watch them crucify my Lord. But nothing gives my heart more joy than to sit at His feet as the nothing that I am and let His love and mercy wash over me.
And I thank the Lord for being willing to rebuke me, to remind me that I am not this mighty something I pretend to be. He sweeps me off my running raging feet and says no you’re wrong. He loves me so much that he is willing to call me out, willing to remind me who I am, remind me that I am so small that I can fit inside His hand. And I pray that Jesus continues to rebuke me, and remind me to be gentle, and slow to anger. Man, I just love him so much, and I love coming away from weekends like these where I can literally see Him loving all of you in such an intense way.
He teaches me how to be humble. Every single mass He comes down in the form of bread. And the priest says “Behold the Lamb of God” yet so often we miss that cue. That invitation to look upon The Lord who loves us, and longs to be in communion with us. We totally miss the fact that Jesus pines for us, that He loves us. He literally comes down from heaven to be in us. So I encourage you to listen in the next time you are at mass. Hear him say “I just want you.” And I also encourage you to prepare your heart fully to receive him. Go to confession, make your heart clean. Every time you go up for communion you are receiving your bridegroom. You are literally walking down the aisle to receive the love of your life. So clean up your soul, put aside the distractions, and focus on Him. Give Him your all, and remember even though you may not feel it, or hear him, you are receiving the king of kings, the God of the whole universe.Pray with your whole heart, and say Lord “I do believe, take away my unbelief.” The moment he hits your tongue, keep in mind what you have received. Be reverent, be still, and kneel not just with your body, but with your entire soul, so that the whole world knows exactly whom you are kneeling before. *heart melt*
On a totally separate note I’m reading 33 days to Greater glory, which goes through the Gospel of John and ends in total consecration to the Father through the passion of His son. And let me tell you I am only 3 days in and just barely diving into the first chapter of John and I already feel so transformed and refreshed for the love of the father. Also….. Keep my fellow missionaries and I in your prayers as we prepare to embark on mission to Trinidad. God bless you all. Thanks for reading, and special thanks to those who have given me feedback.