Acts 2: 14a, 36 – 41, 1 Peter 2: 20b – 25., John 10: 1 – 10
We are truly confronted with some challenges today to grasp the truth of Jesus’ words to us.
“I have come so that they may have life and have it more abundantly.”
When we look at our experience now in our society – it doesn’t seem abundant life is having its day and charm, but just the opposite. Only bad news for a lot of people – wars, violence, guns and more. Tornadoes, weather issues, mass shootings. It feels like no place is safe out there.
Living is getting so expensive, so many are barely making it work. The whole world seems fractured by political negativity and untruth, greed and every lack of civility.
So, just what is our focus in life today in this world? Let it be Jesus, we want and need the abundant life he promises, he came as one of us to give us his abundant life.
We have faith in Christ so we can have the faith of Christ. Acts tells us the truth about this conversion. Being cut to the heart – brings us to a new place. An openness to our woundedness perhaps. We all have woundedness in some way and many of us have been cut to the heart of late. So, this faith of Christ, is Truly, trusting God’s vision of life and the world. Even of the whole cosmos. Ever expanding ever new. A unity in diversity. God’s love bringing unity to all things. He alone is the creator and Christ in his eternal resurrection gives us life on and on. In the tradition, we call this the Second Coming. Jesus brings his wounds into his New Life, that helps us to see the way forward, go to Jesus he made all things new.
Richard Rohr writes about this life, he says in his book “The Universal Christ”: In Jesus, God’s own broad, deep and all-inclusive world view is made available to us. God’s very life and God’s very Spirit of love and justice, mercy and forgiveness. There’s the abundant life Jesus offers us. How do we fit ourselves into this abundant life? This forever incarnation of Christ’s new life in our life and in our world? We take on the view of life Christ shows us, and preached to us, offers us. There is always this call and invitation and we are invited to respond with what we hear all through the scriptures, “Here I am.”
Rohr further writes: The mature Christian sees Christ in everything and everyone else. And this definition will never fail you and always demand more of you and give you no reasons to fight, exclude or reject anyone. This is the radical solidarity that is the Christian life. If we truly believe. Christ is in everything and everyone, then every moment is a Holy Moment. And we want to seek to live right there.
What we hear in the Gospels is Jesus giving us this powerful image of caring, of protection, of intimacy. He has compassion for everyone. Jesus is the one we can count on. There surely doesn’t seem to be anyone else doing this job ¬– giving us hope and life for a better world. Jesus is the one – the Good Shephard leading us. Caring for each one of us.
As believers, we are the ones to hear his voice. We recognize his voice because we have his love, his desire for communion with us and we want to have the mind and heart of Christ so to be one with him to know this abundant life that only rests in him. Knowing Jesus changes everything – we follow him, believe in him, live like him, that is. Living by his Spirit.
Jesus is our truth and deep down we know that. It’s time to proclaim it, first to ourselves. Wake up to the truth of Jesus for you. I know we have already done that in our way. But now it’s to go deeper. Truly give everything to this endeavor, this is the challenge: to refocus everything to Jesus and his life in ours.
Ultimately, it’s having patience in doing what is good. For us “the good” in following Christ, in a heartfelt conversion and in the suffering that this often takes to come to wholeness. Because it requires that total surrender!
Peter’s letter tells us what the surrender looks like in Jesus, He becomes the crucified one. We will not have that kind of suffering. But we need the commitment that willingly accepts the surrender that is giving God our total trust. Giving God everything. What is that for you now in your life? What is it that you have to let go of? We all have our thing that is so ingrained in us. That behavior, that attachment, that just keeps us all wrapped up in ourselves in some way.
Remember, conversion/Metanoia, is a change of heart and behavior. We seek to live the virtuous life. The total retooling of our perception, and vision of life. Really, the transformation of Mind, Heart and Will.
Jesus as our Good Shepherd leads us all though our life right into his new life – let’s follow him with expectation and Joy into our new life in the Spirit.