A stance of love and forgiveness toward even those who might destroy us, is not one of excusing their hate, but refusing to give it a home in our own hearts.
Jesus has already gone first. Jesus has run, and jumped, and clawed, and slung, and muscled, and sweated, and bled his way over the full height of the Law . . . and now he leans over it with his arms outstretched, calling to us, ready to pull us up and over.
If we Christians are going to talk about refugees—if we’re going to look through our faith as the lens for understanding any of this—then first we must stop and look up. Take your eyes to the Cross and remember that before that singular historical event two thousand years ago, we were refugees, too.
Following the call of Jesus is not about becoming a great mystic, priest, or theologian. It’s about doing whatever you do to the glory of God.
“What do you want?” is one of the most important questions of the Christian spiritual life, and Jesus asks it still today. Why? Not because he needs the answer, but because we do.
Want to know more about how the desires of your heart and the discernment of God’s will can go hand-in-hand? Try James Martin’s book The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life. New York: HarperCollins, 2010.
You as a human being can “get” lots of things. You can “get” groceries at the grocery store. You can “get” cigarettes down at the gas station. You can “get” a cold from your nasty coworkers who don’t wash their hands. But you don’t “get” baptized. Baptism is not something you go out and choose, purchase, acquire, or “get” for yourself. No, when we say that God is the primary actor in baptism, we mean that God is the one choosing you. God is “getting” you. That is grace.
What the Magi, the Wise Men, found by the light of that star, is that once the Messiah had come into the world, he became our true home.
“Part of what Jesus teaches us is that if we want to see the light of God, we must do the hard work of looking for it in others. We must know one another. We must love one another. This is the only answer I know to the age old question: ‘How long, O Lord?'”
“‘Persecution’ and ‘prophecy’ are powerful words. We neuter them, however, when we claim them as our own at times when they are not. If you want to understand the meaning of Ezekiel or Daniel, you first have to understand the true meaning of persecution and prophecy.”
For the full post mentioned in this sermon, see: Pankey, Steve. “Why I don’t like the word prophetic.” Draughting Theology. January 29, 2015.