18 May 2020

“Are we there yet?!”

………..“Are we there yet?!”

………………..“Are we there yet?!”

Anyone who has ever travelled by car with the family across-country is familiar with the iconic chant from the kids, “Are we there yet?”  The closer to the end, the greater the expectation, and the harder to practice patience.

So it is with our current condition.  With the shifting of “Stay-at-home” to “Safer-at-home” and the declaration of “Maryland Phase 1,” we are beginning our own chant of, “Are we there yet?”  The lifting of some restrictions tempts the loss of patience, and builds expectations for the lifting of all restrictions.  Oddly, the closer we get to the end the harder it is to wait, and the grumbling gets louder.  One hears more and more from individuals about how they cannot endure one day more the things they cannot do.

Having a hard time coping?  Focus instead on the things we can do.

Our Gospel readings from John over the past several weeks in Easter have focused on Jesus’ promise of Life, Life in abundance.  Jesus, now calling us friends, promises that if we keep His commands He will lead us to true Life, Life in abundance, that He and His Father will come and make their dwelling not with us, but within us, and they will send a teacher, a paraclete, the Holy Spirit.

At the creation God called us into being in His image.  At Easter He calls us into the abundant, divine Life of the Trinity through the Son.  The way to this new life is through following the example of the Son, who most reveals this abundant life, paradoxically, through His passion and death: Divine Love revealed as the total gift of self.

Made in the image of God, we are most ourselves when we freely choose in Love to give ourselves away.

Saint Pope John Paul II, whose 100th birthday we celebrate today, called this truth the Law of the Gift: Your being and life increases in the measure you give it away.”

Raised to the Father with Christ in Holy Spirit, our gift of Love to others is not just an act of kindness or charity, but a real participation in the Trinity’s Love, and an extension of God’s embrace to another.

Do the ongoing pandemic restrictions have you feeling impatient, blue, down cabin-feverish, grumbly, grouchy, and cranky?  Be who Christ has called you to be, and give the Law of the Gift a try! As you read this, resolve concretely, (that is name specifically the who, the what, and the when), resolve concretely to give yourself away as an expression of God’s Love today to another.  Our Lord Jesus Christ will shepherd you to new life, life in abundance.

Christ’s peace,

Deacon Jeff

(For more about St. Pope John Paul II’s “Law of the Gift” please visit my website, www.JoyoftheWord.org.)


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