Immersed in Christ: December 18, 2020
Friday of the Third Week of Advent
O Adonai, LORD
and Leader of the house of Israel,
Who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the holy Law on Sinai mountain,
Come, stretch out your mighty arm and redeem us!
It is one thing to call Jesus Lord and Leader knowing he is God. It is another to call him this knowing that he has made himself our Brother. That his own Father is now our Father. It is still another thing to keep ourselves aware of this. But to cultivate this awareness is the first phase of our journey into perfect relationship with the Father.
Just remaining aware of who God is, who we are, and the relationship that exists between us is enough to convert us from “Sunday Catholics” and “observers of the law” to fervent, joyful, enthusiastic hearers and bearers of the Good News. Jesus said, “This is eternal life, to know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Knowing is living. Being aware that we know is being aware that we are alive.
To be aware that we know God as Father and Jesus in the full mystery of his Lordship is to be aware we are alive with the life of God:
Because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
No one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit, 1
This is a mystical experience. It is conscious awareness of the Spirit’s Gift of Piety by which we know, and do not just intellectually affirm, that we are children of the Father, brothers and sisters in the family of God.
God promised in Jeremiah 23:5-8 :
I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
But he will not be just a doer. The mystery of salvation is that grace makes the divine holiness of God our holiness: “And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’” Paul echoed this:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Matthew 1: 18-25 makes clear that Jesus had no earthly father so we would know his Father is God. To reveal the same of us, Jesus said, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” Here “hate” is just a Jewish way of saying we must not cling to family, or life itself, as if either had value apart from God. That is only possible if we are aware of a higher family life: Life in the family of God. 3
Initiative: Be aware of mystery when you call Jesus “Lord” and God “Father.”