Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Jesus Evasion

From Fr. Richard Rohr’s e-mail meditation today:

How is it that after two thousand years of meditation on Jesus, we’ve managed so effectively to avoid most of what he taught so unequivocally?  This is true of all the churches.  The most we could usually do is emphasize one or the other part of his teaching, and still call ourselves orthodox or “Bible based”.

All of us, for example, have evaded most of the Sermon on the Mount.
All of us have evaded the unmistakable teaching of Jesus on a simple life-style, non-status-seeking, non-greed.
All of us have evaded Jesus’ teaching on non-violence (except for the Amish, the Quakers, and the Mennonites).
All of us have evaded his straightforward teaching on loving our enemy.

Jesus is just too much for all of us!

— Adapted from Simplicity, pp. 161 – 162


Wisdom from the Good Friar

I’ve often struggled — both with myself and with non-religious friends — with the words to describe why I follow Jesus and, in effect, “blindly” accept all those crazy propositions about him. Born of a virgin. All the miracles. Resurrection.

The rational part of my brain can’t wrap itself around many of the stories I learned on a flannel board in Sunday School, and yet I still, to a large degree, believe them.  Then I read Fr. Richard Rohr’s e-mail meditation from today (sign up here … well worth it), and his words resonated with me.  His main point?  This isn’t primarily an intellectual exercise, people. It’s a way of life. A new way of being. A return to our humanity.

Let me know what you think:

Jesus says, “I am not asking you to just believe my words, look at my actions, or the ‘works that I do.’”

Actions speak for themselves, whereas words we can argue about on a theoretical level.  The longer I have tried to follow Jesus, the more I can really say that I no longer believe in Jesus. I know Jesus.  I know him because I have often taken his advice, taken his risks, and it always proves itself to be true!

Jesus is not telling us to believe unbelievable things, as if that would somehow please God.  He is saying much more to us, “try this, and you will see for yourself that it is true.”  But that initial trying is always a leap of faith into some kind of action or practice.

In summary it can be put this way:  We do not think ourselves into a new way of living.  We live ourselves into new way of thinking.  Without action and lifestyle decisions, without concrete practices, words are dangerous and largely illusory.

Adapted from Preparing For Christmas, pp. 48-49