True faith must result in an intimate, persistent relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ, ONE with God The Father and The Holy Spirit. Let’s reflect on the key elements that characterize this faith relationship.
What separates us from God?
The answer is: SIN
If we want an intimate, continuous relationship with Jesus then we must REPENT which means we must not just acknowledge our sins, we must also be ready to TURN AWAY FROM SIN by amending our lives.
Let us reflect on our lives and consider what might be separating us from Our Lord and ask for forgiveness.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
To help us understand the kind of intimate, connected relationship Jesus wants to be in with us Jesus describes Himself as the vine and we (His followers) the branches.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” John 15:5-6
Jesus comes to live with the humble and contrite.
“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and humble in spirit, to restore the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15
To truly be in a relationship with Jesus that pleases Him is to be the little humble, penitent branch that is connected to the Divine Vine in each and every moment, always serving Jesus, dedicating our lives to Him.
Why should we want to do this?
Because everyone wants to live up to their full potential but without Jesus that is not possible.
Jesus calls us to come to Him for comfort, for guidance and for continuous assistance.
He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn from me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.” Matthew 11:29
You may not be familiar with the term ‘yoke’. In the days of Jesus people were familiar with this word. A yoke was a harness, typically made of wood, binding two animals together to ease the physical burden of work. Connected, the two were able to do the work more easily. With Jesus on our side, our burdens will seem lighter for we know that we have His divine assistance in every moment.
Jesus calls us to come to Him so He can transform our hearts, our minds and our lives. This is a learning, transformative relationship where Jesus keeps teaching us how to LOVE as God wills us to LOVE.
Jesus said to His apostles, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34
Jesus is calling us to come to Him and to be ONE with Him and to never separate from Him. His yoke of love unites our hearts to His Sacred Heart creating an inseparable bond between us. Jesus will assist us with all that we need to do and in this way we are never alone again!
Let us pray: Lord “…Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” Psalm 143:8
Jesus is a persistent source of inspiration. He is the source of divine wisdom for He is God, but to benefit from His wisdom and inspiration we must have a ‘listening heart’. We must read the Word of God with a heart and mind that is open to living in accordance to His Holy Will.
The best example of a person who did this was the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ Our Lord.
The Angel Gabriel visited her announcing that she was chosen to be the Mother of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Upon hearing the Angel’s message she responded: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
Think of the Virgin Mary as a Holy Chalice Consecrated to God–a humble, blessed, faithful servant, offering her unconditional consent to God’s Will which was for her to be filled by the Holy Spirit so God’s Son Jesus could be born through her.
In a similar way we are called to be a ‘Holy Chalice’ consecrated to God. Jesus prepares His Chalice for Himself by detaching us from sin, forgiving us and purifying us through His Holy Blood. Once we are empty (detached from sin) and clean (purified by the forgiveness of Our Lord), Jesus enters us and fills us with His divine love through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Sacraments so we can be a ‘vessel of His divine mercy and love and justice’ in the world.
You may be thinking what you are describing sounds like a ‘priestly mission’, i.e., for the really religious only.
Let this Scripture cause you to consider how much God hates ‘lukewarm souls’.
“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16
Would you want a partner that is ‘lukewarm’?
Would you want a partner that is faithful only some of the time?
Being ONE with Jesus becomes really easy when we DESIRE TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM, when we want to be on fire with love for Him, always faithful to Him.
We should desire this relationship not only because Jesus will help us to succeed but because He is so loving and so in-love with each and every one of us. See Jesus dying on the Cross for all souls and you will see not a lukewarm expression of love but the ultimate, greatest love ever known in the history of the world!
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
The mystery of life is contained in the mystery of our relationship with God and in the mystery of our relationship with one another.“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” 1 John 4:20
Jesus will help us be who He wants us to be. The spiritual journey commences when we consent to being His.
There is no relationship more powerful, more exciting, more illuminating and more transformative than the divine relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The world is transformed by this relationship with holiness, a relationship that begins with faith and repentance and culminates with a deep love for God and neighbour. In this relationship we strive to imitate Jesus. Jesus calls us to love as loves, to forgive as He forgives, to serve mankind as He serves and to never give up.
The quest for holiness is a quest for communion with God who is the ONLY SOURCE of HOLINESS.
“You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Please join Christians all over the world in a daily moment of prayer and remembrance of the Passion of Christ. At 3pm (in your local time or in a time zone that works for you) stop to remember Jesus dying for you and see how this remembrance will ignite your heart to love Jesus, to listen to Him, to learn from Him, to follow Him and to honour Him each and every moment of your life.