During Bishop Christian’s knee replacement recuperation, we’ll be using the J.S. Paluch Company bulletin resources and the “Living the Word” scripture reflections for our weekly reflections.
I had a friendship in which our contact was hit-and-miss. Dropping in to visit one day, my friend answered the door and said, “Why are you here?” I answered, “I stopped by to visit.” Her response shocked me: “You visit when convenient, but do not keep regular contact. I have too many friends like that, so please don’t visit again.” Then she closed the door. I learned an important lesson that day. Friendship is mutual. Both parities have to work regularly to keep a relationship.
Life lessons, like the Lord’s lessons, often cause pain at first. If we heed what they teach us, they also bear fruit eventually. We’ve all heard the saying “This will hurt me more than you.” I have found that to be true, because discipline can widen the space of our hearts and make us more inclusive, as God is pictured in Isaiah and Luke. People of all languages and nations will come to Jerusalem. Our job is to get out of the way and release our prejudices and presumptions. Then we become instruments that God uses to gather the nations. It’s not enough to say we are God’s people or we know Jesus. We must live God’s ways. We must give the gospel flesh in our lives.
To maintain and grow our relationship with God, we must take on the daily discipline of being with Christ, learning from him and loving like him. Then we have what we need to go out to all the world and tell his good news. That’s how we help God gather all peoples. Keep regular contact with Jesus. That discipline will make clear that we are more than friends with God. We are daughters and sons of an incredibly merciful and welcoming God.