Most people have faced situations where they struggle to let go of bitterness, anger, or resentment in their lives. Feeling if they forgive this person, then there are no consequences; they let this person “off the hook.” Not so, says the Lord.
Jesus is all about relationships. It’s a priority to do all in our power to restore balance and bring reconciliation to places of discord. These are all worthy ideals to pursue. They also sound great on paper but are extremely difficult to achieve.
As disciples we are called to foster our relationship with Jesus, to know him in a personal way. And, as with any important relationship in our lives, our relationship with Jesus changes us, helps us to grow more into the woman or man that God wants us to be.
We know well what the world says about Jesus. But, the Gospel turns the question on us. Who do I say Jesus is? Do we pick and choose the teachings of Jesus which we agree with and ignore the rest; or do we believe that every word Jesus speaks is THE word of God?
Our familiarity with prayers isn’t always accompanied by a sincerity in our prayer. We rattle off words while our minds are onto the next task. Our prayer life is fragmented because our need for help has been disconnected from our belief in Jesus’ mission.
God is calling to us today, like Peter. The winds and waves may be in the form of politics, riots, and disease, the big and loud things seeking to get our attention. God is speaking in a whisper, still inviting each one of us to recognize Him amidst the trials and have just a tiny bit of faith to come to Him.
When we seek what Jesus is offering, we are often filled with more than we need, even finding we now have something to distribute to others. Do you trust Jesus to take your meager offerings and multiple them into blessings to fill you and to share with others?
Things all too easily become more significant than people, individuals can all too easily become objects to use and manipulate, and our agendas become more essential than God’s. Only the wisdom that comes from God can bring light to all of our darkness.
Jesus tells the story of a farmer whose crop of wheat is attacked by an enemy who sows the seeds of weeds along with the grains of wheat. Once the violent act was done, there was no going back. The wheat and weeds had to be allowed to grow together.
Just as a seed, once it is planted, has a power within it that drives it to become the tree it is meant to be, so God’s kingdom, once planted in our world and in our souls by Jesus himself, takes root and spreads its branches slowly but surely throughout all of human history.
A myriad of scenarios can explain the weight that we hold deep within. The older we get it seems as though the more baggage we tend to collect. Our baggage has become our comfort and definition. We don’t experience what Jesus promised because we fear, or we doubt. But Jesus is patient as he is persistent.
God is calling us to serve and love Him above all else. God speaks to us not as an optional side character in our stories, but as the passionate lover determined to make sure we know that the way to true happiness and freedom can only come from Him. The only way our stories will make sense is in light of the greater story of God’s plan of salvation for humanity.