Blog # 451 Come to me.
It seems to me that if we are to understand what a person is doing we have to try to understand why he or she is doing it. The goal of our actions gives them meaning.
So it was with Jesus. Christmas is connected to His teaching, kindness, and miracles. These are connected to Calvary and Calvary is connected to Easter. Easter is connected to His Ascension, the Ascension is connected to Pentecost, and all are connected to the question Why did Jesus come?
Jesus frequently identifies himself as being sent by the Father and always doing the Father's will. (Jn. 8: 29). The Eternal Word, incarnate on earth and called Jesus, was a messenger of the Creator of all that exists. He was to remain on earth for certain time. He was like us in all but sin. He always did the Father's will. In the Father's will was the goal of his life on earth and its meaning..
Jesus did not cease to be the Word in coming among us. Yet in order to be really one of us he had to be limited, as we are, by space time and all the human limitations that are ours. He had to learn how, in his own time and place, in his own individual limited human way, to express his infinite eternal divine love for the Father and for all creation. He had to be satisfied for the time being to experience develop and express his divine love in human limited words thoughts and actions.
He had to pray. In his limited short-lived human experience he had to praise and thank the Father for a very small part of all that, as the Word, he knew God had done. Maybe it was something like our own experience of thanking God for the four goldfish we keep in a ten gallon tank of water in our living room, knowing all the while there are unimaginably numerous other fish we do not see for which we can be thankful.
We believe that what Jesus was sent to do was done not only for the Father's glory but for us. We need to deepen our understanding of this faith of ours. For example, we often tend to view and experience the life of Jesus as an attempt on his part to set a pace as it were, to put some footprints down for us to follow. Abraham, Moses, St. Paul, Mary Magdalene, Francis of Assisi, and our Patron Saints were sent for this. Jesus was sent for more.
The Word 'came' from Heaven and lived among us as one of us so that we might 'go' to Heaven living in Jesus! The supernatural gift that makes this possible we have called Sanctifying Grace . It is a gift that makes us holy or like to God by way of uniting us with Jesus as branches are united to a vine and share the life of the vine to which they are united. This is what Jesus was trying to explain to Nicodemus when he spoke to him about being "born from above" and how necessary
this was for anyone to "see" the Kingdom of God, seeing in this instance meaning to know or understand. (Jn. 3: 1-12).
Down through the ages back to the beginning of our story the Church has taken these words of Jesus at face value. As with St. Paul we are a "new creation" in Jesus through faith and Baptism. Jesus did not just go before us in a previous moment of history but he lives in us today. He did not merely live for us as a role model, but currently shares with us by faith his divine life. "...and the life I live now is not my own alone; Christ is living in me". (Gal. 2: 20; Jn. 14: 23; 15: 1-5).
Our faith is not like a church building in which we pray, a house where we live, or clothes that we wear, but more like medicine which heals us and food that gives us life. God's divine love is to be shared with us as it was lived in Jesus. He has gone to prepare a place for those who believe and live in him so that where he is they will be. (Jn. 14 2-3).
"Come to me" was his call to people 2,000 years ago. To come to Jesus was to be united to Him as branches on a vine, sharing His divine life. What a gift and joy it is to hear that same call each day as we awake from sleep, and finally especially at the instant of our death!