Saturday morning here in London! It’s a bit cold and with no hostel booked for last night and Seamus seemingly gone missing I have all the reasons in the world to be grumpy!
Yet my mind reflects on what the priest said at last night’ mass. When we give our lives to Jesus we give Him our freedom. We are not free to come and go as we please and do our own thing. Just like Jesus said to Peter in John
“Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.“
So in other words God would ask Him to do what he didn’t want to do!
I already hear all the objections. God is love, God would never ask you to do what you don’t want to do, God wants you to be happy….
And as usual there are half truths in all this! God desires that we find our happiness in Him and that we choose His will rather than our will out of love!
Even Jesus struggled on Holy Thursday as His human will was afraid of good Friday!
We all at times have to do what we don’t want to do but what we know we have to do! Some basic examples are going to the dentist, maybe cutting the grass etc.
And so it is with following Jesus. The right thing is not always the easy thing. As I sit here this morning part of me would love to give up this life of living the way I live and go back to something more safe and secure….but if I were to do that I’d be putting my will before God’s and that’s not how it works!
‘We love Michael and we know he’s following the Holy Spirit but we just don’t like how he’s following the Holy Spirit’
said a simpleton recently!
That’s the same as saying to Jesus that you love Him but that you don’t love His ways!
“Thank you for dying for me, that was awesome, you are so super and I love you so so so much…..
I will not give up my reputation for you, I will not put my life on the line for you, I will not be your witness, I will not follow you if it means suffering”
In other words
“I want my heaven on earth and don’t really love you at all or want to help you. In fact I just want to get to heaven but I don’t want you to trouble me”!
And so you see, following Jesus is not easy, it is very hard. It means taking up our crosses every day even when we feel tired and exhausted, it means searching for His will and putting that before our own no matter how difficult it may be.
Sometimes our testimony is in our perseverance rather than in our smile and in our tears and sufferings rather than laughter and dance!
And so I finish with an extract from St Faustina’s diary:
“Jesus, drive away from me the thoughts that are not in accord with your will” (Journal entry 638).