Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Truth. What is truth?

We often judge people based on our own vision of them.   I had a neighbor once who was a cranky old man.   Everyone warned me to not only stay away from him, but to keep my kids away from him too.   One day I walked over and asked how he was doing.   He was having some issues with his house and couldn't go up under it to check on it.   I ended up crawling under his trailer for a few minutes to find that his heat tape had been unplugged.   I plugged it back up, problem solved.   Over the next few years I got to know him pretty well.  Yes, he was cranky.  Yes, he was pretty inappropriate at times.   He had a huge heart though.   I had judged him wrongly by listening to others talk about him, and even in my own way expected certain things out of him.  My vision is limited.

God on the other hand looks inside the person.   He glimpses the inmost emotions of our hearts.   In today's Gospel Jesus declares that Nathanael  is a man with no duplicity!  Nathanael tells it like it is.   In fact, he is just a little bit rude in what he has to say today.  As the kids would say: "savage."   When he hears that Philip thinks Jesus is the Messiah he responds "from Nazareth? pfft."   The one thing Jesus knows about Nathanael is that he is who he is, whether you are there or not.  Honest.  Maybe to a fault.   The thing is though, Nathanael is then astounded that Jesus knew something very simple about him.  Jesus reminds him that greater things are to come.

deceitfulness; double-dealing.
synonyms:deceitfulness, deceitdeceptiondouble-dealingunderhandednessdishonestyfraud,fraudulence, sharp practicechicanerytrickerysubterfugeskulduggerytreachery;More

You see, this man who is astounded that Jesus saw him in the mundane, would go on to realize that it is in the mundane that we can see Jesus.   We judge people so much that we fail to see Him in them.   We are so busy looking for those big mountain top moments, that we fail to encounter Him in the silence and in the other.  So many think that if I could just become a missionary, or if I were a monk or a nun, then I could be Holy!   You are Holy now!   Yes, there is something amazing about being on a retreat or in Adoration for hours on end... but that same Jesus can be present to you in your every day life.   That is truth!

It's not enough to only encounter Him at Mass, though this is our most important prayer.   Worship should be a priority in our lives.   However we should be attempting to encounter Him where we are, when we are.   There is this saying: "if slaughter houses had glass walls, the world would becoming vegetarian."   I don't know that it is true.   What I do know is that if all walls were transparent we'd see that every person out there has some sin in their lives.   Sin that we tend to hide behind walls, in closets, or under the guise of perfection.   It's we, the sinners, who He came to encounter.  He comes to encounter us daily.  Not just once a day, not just once a week, not just here or there.. but He wants to encounter us every second.   Until our live becomes living prayer, a perfect communion with the Father, one that is only possible when we begin to let Him show us the world, through His eyes.

His servant and yours,

"He must increase, I must decrease."

A reflection on the readings for the Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle: August 24, 2016.  Revelation 21:9b-14; Psalm 145; The Holy Gospel according to Saint John 1:45-51