Do you ever get frustrated? I am sure that everyone has, I would even venture to say Jesus did. We hear and read stories in the bible that would lead you to believe he did. Just off the top of my head I can think of a few examples:
· Jesus having to tell his friends to let the little children be, allow them to come to him.
· Peter walking on water, then losing faith
There are many more, but the two I picked, I think, prove that Jesus did get frustrated with his friends. I love when Jesus shows human emotions, raw emotions. We don’t see a lot of it, but we see it.
I think frustration is one such raw emotion. It shows his humanity. I can just see Jesus shaking his head and say “What is so hard about this? Why can’t you get it?”
Like every human I know, we have a hard time understanding why something so easy for me to understand, but so hard for others. It’s part of our humanity, our fallen nature.
I bring all this up, to share a story with you, this past Friday I met two friends for dinner. We don’t see a lot of each other, maybe two times a year we will get together for dinner, So a lot of conversation to pack in to four or five hours over a dinner. All three of us are involved in religious education, the two of them are professionals and as for me, I’m just a volunteer.
So as you can guess the conversation has to turn to our faith. They are liberals, and I am the conservative, so you know it’s going to be a lively debate. And it was! For the most part, I was in check all night, just glad to be with good friends, drinking a beer and have some of the best pizza in town. I listen to their “Jesus Loves You” theology; listen to the “No rules from the Pulpit” rant.
I sat quietly for most of the night, just thinking to myself, what they don’t get, what is so hard to understand, God called us to task all the time, Jesus called his friends to task all the time. No were in the bile do we hear, all the matters is that Jesus Loves You. “YES I KNOW THAT, I CAN SEE THAT” is what I wanted to scream, but I held my tong. Just sat there nice a nice boy…
Until I could hold it in no longer; the frustration hit, my mind was racing and I had to let it all out.
The basic arguments went like this:
The Liberals: It’s all about community, it’s all about acceptance
The Conservative: I agree, but there is also room for calling us to task, to challenge us and to teach us what the Catholic Church teaches.
The Liberals: There is now place in the Church to tell someone they are wrong, we must be open and accepting
The Conservative: Jesus called us to task, he told the rich man to give it all up to follow him, he told Peter to get behind him, he asked people to do this or that, to sin no more… And at the sometime he loved them, but he called them to task! Why can’t and why shouldn’t our Priest do the same?
The Liberals: We must be inclusive; we must love them and accept them where they are…
And so it went for 45 minutes. The frustration was high; I am sure on both sides.
All is well, we left as friends, and will remain as such, our differences are all in the same vein, we all want what is best for whom we are serving. My frustrations why can’t they see that I am right and they are wrong, and I am sure they feel the same.
So to end this blog:
“Jesus Loves you, and all are welcome” but you must learn the faith and follow it to the best of your ability, because in the end, it is God who will ask you to justify your gift of life, not me.
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