The Challenge of Receiving God's Love
At times, it can be hard to hear what God is saying to us. Hard in the sense that it is something we need to hear but do not want to listen to. God may be calling us to radically change parts of our lives, to give up certain habits or things, or simply to let Him Love us. St. Peter is a great example of this common spiritual struggle for in one and the same passage he celebrates Christ as the Messiah and then is rebuked by Jesus for denying Jesus’ predicted Passion and Death. We all know that God Loves us and we celebrate the fact that this good and gracious God Loves us so much, to the point of becoming human and dying so that we might have eternal life. Yet, this Love sometimes interrupts our lives in an unexpected way and calls us to conversion so that He may Love us even more!
In these moments of surprise and confusion when Love knocks me back down on the ground, I am reminded of how little I truly know of the Love of God. I frequently assume that God acts in this or that certain way thinking that I can keep God within an intellectual box. After studying theology for 4 years, how could I possibly be wrong about God?? (That was sarcasm if you didn’t catch it). Just like Peter, I know that Jesus is the Messiah by the grace of the Holy Spirit and I too assume that Jesus will fit my parameters of Messiah. Yet in my own heart, Jesus rebukes me and my misguided conceptions of Him. He does not do this as a way to lord over me His own power and authority - He does it so that this sin within my heart may die and He may take up residence there. Yes, it can be hard to hear the Lord’s voice point out the sin within our hearts, but He does this so that we may be one with Him. So then, we too must pick up our crosses, die to ourselves, and follow Him that we may have eternal life in His glorious and generous Love!
This 13th day of September of the Year of St. Joseph 2021
Feast of St. John Chrysostom