As you can see, I have posted about the sub titles of this blog. Next, you will read ‘Living’.
I ask the question, “So what is it about living, that is so important?”
In the beginning, we are less knowledgeable about a subject. As we become interested in the subject we follow because it has gained our attention. We then learn more about the subject so we begin to study the subject. As we learn, we open our minds to the ideas and accept the information with authority. Once we gain some authority, we begin to live the life.
Living is very important to your spiritual journey. When Jesus asked the disciples to leave their familiar lives and pickup their cross and follow, it was not just an act. It was something much more. It was about trusting. This trust was not just in God, it also was about them.
Leaving everything that they knew, to follow Jesus was an unbelievable decision. I am sure that you have seen people whom you have thought are crazy. But they began to follow (Following) and learn (Studying) from his teachings. And what did he ask in return. He asked for them to be with him and promote him. To travel the land and promote God’s teachings.
Now he walked around teaching, sharing and being with the people. Jesus not only did all these things, but he was friends with those whom you would question his judgement. A tax collector, a prostitute, a leper and much more. But Jesus gained their trust, just like he did with the disciples. He lived among them and was not afraid of them. He was their friend and he would do many things for them, not because he wanted but because his Father asked him to, just like he is asking us.
We have been charged in our baptismal covenant to go and spread God’s Love. Some will say we are to go and spread God’s word to the people. To those whom you go, may you share one cup, as he has shared with us, one bread as he has shared with us.
In the last supper, it was not only the teachings of Christ, but it was an act to share with others. Now I am not proposing that you ignore the word of God, but I propose that you act out God’s word. Jesus sat with those around him and offered the new covenant by sharing a meal. He asked us to do this as often. It was a hospitable thing. To share with your guests.
Often Jesus shared his gifts with the people. Often he would give of himself to others. All these were acts. Jesus was living a life of hospitality. If in Jesus’ time, we had the news media that we have today, we would have known much more about Jesus and his life. But we have to rely on how history was written in the Bible. But if you see how hospitable Jesus was, you might recognize that it is all about living (Living) a Christian life.
Over my years, I have seen many people quote the Bible. Verse by verse they can report the words of God to anyone whom they go. But I wonder, can they live those words?
You know that your actions speak louder than your words. Just think about the time he was telling us about the hour in his life that was very important. Just think, he asked all his friends, those closest to him to come and wait an hour. As he prayed he felt and then looked around and saw that those around him were sleeping. Now he did get a little upset with them. After all, his request was pretty clear, come wait with me. Their actions outraged him. He looked around and realized that they were all asleep. Their actions spoke very loudly. And he profoundly acknowledged this act and spoke very clearly about it.
As we watched, Jesus did many things during his ministry. He did speak about the word and the scrolls, he even taught from them. But he went a further step. He asked his disciples to DO. And as you read, he DID.
I am amazed at this all because his actions spoke very loudly about his ministry. Could you recognize if someone touched your robe as you walked down the street? Could you immediately stop and address the moment?
Picking up your cross and follow. That is an act. Come stay with me, for the hour is near. That is an act. For several times, you are going to deny me, that is an act. You will hand me over. That is an act. To walk on water, that is an act. To share the new covenant, that is also an act. An act of action, to do, to be, to share, to love, to witness, to….
So you might ask if I have a problem with someone who goes around quoting the Bible. Well, I guess to an extent, you would be absolutely correct. Just because you can recite something, does not mean that you understand the meaning. Many stories are in parable form. These stories speak in metaphors. If you fail to study, you may not be able to understand the metaphors.
So it boils down to how you study. If you study to be able to recite, then you are just learning enough to quote the Bible. You then become a person who is knowledgeable about what the words are.
There is, however a greater question. Do you know what these words mean? Have you taken the time to explore the meaning? Have you taken time to reflect on what they meant when they were written? Have you taken the time to explore what they mean in your life today? Have you taken these words to heart and can you live them? (especially in the context in which Jesus portrays them?).
Theological reflection is a process. Jesus’ life was a process. Jesus’ death was a process. To take this process called theological reflection, you look and examine the word. How it relates to you. What the world or community things bout the word. How is the media portraying the word. What is positive about the word. What is negative about the word. What implications you have discovered about the word. And you then look at what your willing to DO. Putting the word of God into action.
Living a liturgical life is difficult. Can it be done? Are you willing to do it? I guess this is more like the concept of ‘putting your money where your mouth is’. You might be able to proclaim the word, but can you live the word. Can you show people what the word is, what it means to you? Can your actions be a representation of the word? It may be easy to talk about a subject, but can you do it?
In a previous post, I asked what type of shoes are you wearing on your spiritual journey. In thinking about the shoes that you need for your journey, you need to be mindful of the terrain and all obstacles that you could encounter. You should be prepared by wearing the correct shoe. If you don’t you may find yourself with damaged feet.
I talked about how one man changed the world. He allowed himself to be present and mindful to everyone. He took the time to teach. He took the time to be silent. He took the time to be gracious. He took the time to ask questions. He took the time to love, to share and to cry. He DID all these things.
And he has asked nothing different from us. He is asking us to live a Christian Life. He is asking us to do all these things. And not only is he asking, he is showing and he also provided us with gifts and talents so we can DO.
So the next time you are in a position to be with someone in crisis or even in life, but down your word and be a hospitable guest. Be gracious to your host. Live a Spiritual Life.