Saturday, January 7, 2017

Daily Meditation: Do As He Says, Even When It Makes No Sense


I don't know if I will be successful at this, but I would like to try to do a small meditation on each day's readings.  I am doing it much more for myself than anyone else, but if others can benefit - either from agreeing or disagreeing with me - then so much the better.

Today's readings emphasize how important it is to follow the will of Our Lord, even when it makes no sense for us, knowing that everything He asks of us is for our good.

The first reading is taken from I John 5:14-21.  St. John begins:
"Beloved, We have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours"
That is an amazing promise, a true child of God - which by definition means one who is spiritually begotten by God and living by His Law - can go to the great God of the universe who sustains everything and has no need of anything or anyone, and boldly place all of our needs and desires before Him. Not only are we allowed to do this, Our Lord wants us to petition Him on a daily basis. That is a love that is far beyond anything I can even begin to comprehend.

St. John then turns to a specific petition, that of praying for others, and tells us the Lord's Will in this matter:
"If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray."
This verse, of course, upholds the Catholic teaching of venial and mortal sin, the former being a sin that is not "deadly" and the latter, mortal sin, defined as "deadly sin." When someone has committed mortal sin, he is spiritually dead, completely cut off from the grace of God, and the only way to enter back into the grace of God is through the sacrament of confession. The great problem in our world today that is that we do not recognize any kind of sin - not mortal sin, and certainly not venial sin. This seems to have been just as true in the first century when St. John wrote as it is today, as St. John tells us:
"We know that we belong to God, and the whole world is under the power of the evil one."
We always tend to think the world has never been more evil than our present times, and in some ways that is absolutely true, but the world has always been cut off from God, it has always been a fallen world belonging to the evil one, and the true child of God has always lived in this world as an alien and stranger.  But, as St. John tells us, we need not despair because:
"We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. And we are in the one who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life."
There is no need to hate or fear those around us because we are firmly in Jesus Christ, and as St. John says in a previous verse, the Evil One cannot touch us (verse 18). Jesus Christ acts as a force field, warding off all attacks against us, keeping us safe and strong as long as we walk with Him.

The Gospel reading for today gives a wonderful example of just how Christ will fulfill our every need. It is the miracle of the wedding at Cana, again given to us by St. John in his Gospel, chapter 2, verses 1-11.

Jesus is at a wedding feast with His mother, our Blessed Lady, and His disciples. St. John tells us:
When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."
I find this verse amazing.  This shows the great love and concern our Blessed Mother has for us, watching for everything that happens in our lives and before we even know what we need, she has gone to her Son and laid her petitions before Him on our behalf.  We can have no greater intercessor before Jesus Christ than His mother, as this story tells us.

Jesus' first response would seem to be dismissive of Mary:
And Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come."
Jesus had not yet revealed Himself to the world as the Messiah.  His "hour" to save the world and act on its behalf had not yet come.  Our Blessed Mother accepts His statement, making no argument with Him, but she knows her Son and she knows He cannot turn away from those in need.  So she goes to the servers and instructs them with the words that should be the guiding force in every Christian's life:
"Do whatever he tells you."
That is the message Our Lady gives to each one of us. When everything around us seems to be upside down and we don't know which way to turn, just "do whatever he tells you". And many times it will make no sense to our limited, mortal and sinful minds, as we see here.

Jesus goes to the servers and tells them to pour water in six jars, each holding 20 to 30 gallons. And Our Lord does not even specify that it should be clean jars or clean water. What in the world does this have to do with not having enough wine? Is it Jesus' idea to just substitute water in place of wine? But the servers followed Mary's instruction and did as Jesus commanded. Jesus then told them to take the water to the headwaiter.

You can imagine that this was more than a little scary to the servers. They are going to give what was probably dirty water to the waiter and ask him to taste it. In their minds, this is not going to be a good scene. But they do it, anyway.

Instead of receiving the tongue lashing or worse that they were expecting, they watch the headwaiter taste the "water" and hear him exclaim with great shock and surprise:
"Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now."
The servers must have been shocked beyond belief, knowing that they had just given dirty water from dirty jars to the headwaiter, and then had been told that it was actually the finest of wines.

A far greater miracle is changing sinful mortals headed to eternal damnation into holy, grace-filled saints who will spend eternity in the presence of the great, almighty and perfect God.  But as Our Blessed Mother told the servers, we must "Do whatever he tells you", no matter how senseless it may seem to our limited minds.


3 comments:

  1. When you get a chance, Catholic in Brooklyn, check out the following link:

    https://youtu.be/HQcF8fuaQVQ

    BTW, is it still true that you have ZERO interest in reading Michael Voris's book "Militant: Resurrecting Authentic Catholicism"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea - there is only so much time in the day, and I just don't want to spend time reading anything by Michael Voris. But I will check out the video and let you know my thoughts.

      Delete
    2. I just went to your YouTube link, and I am sorry but I cannot watch that. I find Alex Jones to be basically nuts. He rants and raves and it is more than I can take. And his unrelenting support of Trump really turns me away.

      Delete

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