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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

Accepting Jesus As God

Friday, February 10, 2023

by Fr. David M. Knight

View readings for today:

Editor's note: Father Knight had many talents. Unfortunately, computer file management was not one of those talents. Thus, I have so far been unable to locate Fr. Knight's reflections on the daily readings from today until Feb 22 (Ash Wednesday). Consequently, starting today, I will post selections from The Five Promises of Baptism on weekdays. (Full copies of the booklet are available here.) On Sundays, I will post reflections on the Mass readings -- if I can find those files! Pray for me! ~~ Lynne Marie

The problem is, if we accept the ideal as described in yesterday's reflection, and accept Jesus as God, we are not going to want him around all the time! If we are conscious of being Christ, and of Christ's presence in us, we are liable to find that inhibiting -- something like taking one's mother along on a date!

If l treat Jesus as God, I can never say "No" to him -- about anything.

But all of us know we are not ready to do that. All of us say "No" sometimes to things we know God wants us to do. Or we say "Yes" to things we know God wants us not to do. We aren't perfect.

The key is to want to be perfect. To accept Jesus as divine, and to accept God as God, we have to truly embrace the First Commandment from the heart: "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might."

But wanting is not always willing. I may truly and sincerely choose to love God as All, but in daily life choose over and over again to give something else a higher priority than what God desires. St. Paul himself experienced this:

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.... I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.

This is the same Paul who said,

"To me, living is Christ. It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me!"

How do we reconcile being Christ with acting frequently as if we aren't?

Paul himself gives the answer:

Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

It is a matter of mindset. We try to live out in action the ideals we have set our minds on. If we don't try, of course, we are insincere. But we are not insincere just because we try and fail, even frequently. The rate of failure is influenced by many things, some of them external to us. And Jesus does not look primarily to our successes and failures, even in responding to his own teachings. Jesus looks to the heart. He looks at what we have set our minds on, what we desire in our hearts.

Jesus chose Peter to be the "first" among his apostles, and the "rock'' upon which he would build his Church. But in word and deed Peter has more recorded sins and errors than any of the disciples. Peter is presented as a weak man, and even at times as a coward. But he loved Jesus, and Jesus knew it. For Jesus, this is what counted.

To treat God as God we have to make it the "mind set" of our lives to "love the LORD our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our might:' This is to accept the goal Jesus laid down for us: "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. ...

If you wish to be perfect come, follow me."

If we set our hearts on this, God will forgive every fall and failing along the way. This is the mystery of God's "steadfast love."

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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