Today’s Gospel left me wondering.
In today’s Gospel Jesus is relating to them that God desires a relationship. The parable has a very important line; a hermeneutic of sorts, a key. He relates to them the parable of the master of the house. In it that master tells those on the other side of the locked door: ‘I do not know where you are from.’ He repeats it a little later: ‘I do not know where you are from’ In this there is the hermeneutic, the operative phrase, so to speak, which is: ‘I do not know you’. Christ needs to know us.
A relationship, by definition must be a two way offering, otherwise it is just an introduction; over and over again, but still just an introduction.
The master of the house, God the Father, is constantly introducing Himself to us, offering Himself in fellowship to us. He always desires a personal relationship with each of us. The Bible in one sense is the history of His actions of friendship, familial relationship; and our failure to respond. He offers all He is to us; and do we offer the same back to Him? This is important because our faith is not an academic faith towards a philosophy, it is brotherly relationship with Jesus Christ and a son-ship with God the Father.
All we need to do is look around Holy Mother Church, Christ is right there, at the most intimate moments of our familial lives. Baptism, weddings, moments of regret for our actions in Reconciliation, Death. His presence at these moments brings us tremendous grace, some even sacramental grace. But for many these moments, events, are just boxes on a check list, things to do; things that can up to a ticket to heaven. God, though coming to us is still not being welcomed into the lives of the participants. Once the event is over the people move on to another aspect of their lives where God isn’t a part.
Brothers and sisters, let’s not fall into the trap of thinking our faith is about doing; doing certain things that pleases God. It is not. Today’s Gospel highlights this when in response to Christ first saying ‘I do not know where you are from’ the people reply ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ A stranger can do as much. No, Christ wants more, He wants us. Let’s redouble our efforts in building this relationship; and the way to a relationship is to talk, it is that simple – prayer. Saint Teresa of Avila wrote: ‘For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.’
Pray, it is that simple, it is that important; which leads me back to my first sentence. I have to wonder why, for many us, including myself, it is such a hard decision to do it.