Tuesday, August 19, 2008
You Are My All In All
"We have left everything and followed you." How many of us can echo the words of St. Peter? Today is the memorial of St. John Eudes. He certainly could and did throughout his life. The most striking thing about St. John was that he saw himself as being totally connected to Jesus. Even to the point of sharing the same breath. Breathing and acting in union with him. Christ being the head and St. John as part of the body. In the unity of the Holy Spirit he saw no separation and in the gift of the Eucharist he saw the perfection of that unity. It would be easy to accuse ourselves of having not given enough to Jesus. We really have not left EVERYTHING. What poor disciples we are. This my dear children is too easy. It is not the eye of the needle. Self incrimination leads to self pity, self-centeredness, self indulgence and self hatred. Into this void we often hurl ourselves and allow our sins to cover us heaping sin upon sin and accusation upon accusation until we feel we are no longer worthy of kindness or praise in any way let alone love and mercy. We are left believing we are worthless. This is an insidious temptation often used by the evil one, but it is a lie. A lie that is cloaked in our own pitiful judgement of our selves as we strive to grow in holiness. Yes St. Peter and many of the saints left everything to follow Jesus. He is stating a fact not an opinion in the Gospel today. One that is affirmed by Jesus' response. Our self accusations are never affirmed by Jesus because they betray the truth that we are part of his body and that he is our head. If they were true we could never share his same breath his life giving Spirit. Like St. John Eudes we must stand and live in the truth of our lives. We are uniquely part of Jesus' Body. He will never abandon us no mater our weaknesses or our sins. No one amputates a part of their body that can be healed and in Christ there is nothing that cannot be healed. So where is the eye of the needle? Where are we called to give everything? In the Eucharist of course where St. John Eudes saw our perfection. This occurs in two ways. In receiving Holy Communion we bring all we are to the altar. All our fears, worries, anxieties, sins, addictions, temptations, sufferings and joys for in receiving Jesus he becomes our all in all. In praying before the Blessed Sacrament we speak to the Lord who is our all in all and thus we bring all to him. He in turn breathes in union with us as we pour out our misery he breathes it in and exhales the gift of the Holy Spirit. The gift of peace that perfects us in his loving mercy and his merciful love.