Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Love/Fear

This upcoming Sunday's Gospel has similar themes to last week's Gospel reading. In my lectio with both passages, the same idea stuck out. Last week it was the words, "he sent messengers ahead of him." This week it is the words, "...he sent ahead of him."

But even with basically the same words, two different gratitudes came to me in my prayer. Perhaps it had to do with the word "messenger." When I read that word I thought of all the beautiful messengers in my life who proclaim Christ's presence to me, as it happened when Jesus himself was journeying toward Jerusalem. There are mentors, children, family, community, friends, and people whose names I don't even know acting as harbingers of the Divine in my life. I am grateful to witness the face of Christ in my life daily.

This week, on the other hand, I spent time with another idea: we don't really know what we are jumping into when we choose to follow the path of Christ. The choice precedes any of the reality of what will unfold ahead of us when we discern a new step in our journey. Yes, we try to make informed decisions and hopefully would not walk on a path that is unfit for us, but whatever is coming is unknown. And, it seems to me, that the best choice we have is to embrace that ever-present unknown.

It is so easy to fear; it is a very real part of being human. I know there were things I feared when entering into monastic community, not to mention all the things that bring out my fears on a regular basis. But, we do have a choice to trust that God is indeed at work all the time and move toward a place of loving the Mystery. Any time I able to do that, great gratitude runs through me. And, often times, it is those messengers who help me trust God at work in my life.

All of this brought to mind a wonderful animated short from the wonderfully creative Pixar team. It is called Day & Night. While I will not spoil it for you, I will include the text of only words in the film.

"Fear of the unknown. They are afraid of new ideas. They are loaded with prejudices, not based upon anything in reality, but based on … if something is new, I reject it immediately because it’s frightening to me. What they do instead is just stay with the familiar. You know, to me, the most beautiful things in all the universe are the most mysterious."

How do we live with the Mystery in our lives?

Let us walk in the holy presence.