Saturday, June 18, 2011
Blog # 153 Any Questions?
Blog # 153 Any questions? After the recent gap I am hoping to be back again on a regular schedule of blogs. In the celebration and experience of the life of Jesus in the Liturgical Year, the time between the Ascension of Our Lord and the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost last Sunday, we were 'on our own', as it were, but not forsaken. We had the promise of Jesus that he would send the Holy Spirit as God's special presence in the Church until the end of time. This time of waiting is an especially appropriate time to review and reflect upon the life and work of Jesus, to identify Him again as divine and yet as one of us, to build up a great confidence in Him and a deep love for Him. It is because of Him and through our trust in Jesus that we await the coming of the Holy Spirit. With humble yet condfident hope we prepare our questions for the Spirit. Who, when, and where is God? What does it mean to pray? What is the desire of God for us as individuals and as a community of faith? What is the best way for us to grow in holiness?. What is the meaning and purpose of it all? Questions such as these would seem simple or complex, superficial or profound, depending you how you read them. It seems they are not frequent or regular questions on the life agenda of many people, even Christian believers. As a result the coming of the Holy Spirit and our celebration of Pentecost is of less consequence. Such questions can only be answered by God. Only and in so far as God reveals the answers to us will we know the truth about them. Without such revelation we would only be guessing or in error. There is no problem with regard to our conviction that God desires to share with us the answers. For this Jesus came, to teach and live the answers to all such profound and urgent questions. For this Jesus promised to send the Holy spirit, to be with us for all time, to help us discover and live the answers in our moment of history as Jesus was called to do in His. The problem is, do we have the questions? That is the first question. Without the questions that take us beyond our human limitations and experiences, we can solve whatever problems and questions we have this side of God through medicine, science, psychology, sociology, proper diet and exercise, money, human goodness, and friends. God is present in all of these for sure, but unless we ask the questions of God, God is not present for us Through our confidence in the Holy Spirit won for us through the love of Jesus it is fitting that we spend time and energy formulating the questions we have for God. But let's make doubly sure our questions are sincere, that we really want to know, that our questions express a need on our part. Otherwise we might end up with a bit of religion and religious information, but not faith. Religious information gives us knowledge, and religion can help shape and give direction to our moral behavior, but faith puts us in direct and personal contact with God. Faith that lives is an expression of a relationship between the revealer and the one who believes. It is founded upon and nourished by a living trust and is unafraid to ask questions. Faith gives the power to pass beyond the confines of our human limits to the meaning and purpose of it all. Our raw humanity sees Jesus suffer and die. Our faith sees Him love. Our humanity tells us Jesus is gone. Our faith tell us He at once is present and has gone to prepare an eternal home for us. Or humanity tells us to be honest kind and good in order to be happy here on earth. Our faith invites us in Jesus to share the love and care of God for all creation and there is more beyond the grave. What a difference! And faith is a gift of the Spirit. Our freedom and our desire are the door through which the Spirit 'comes'. May our doors we open wide!