If I saw You walking by, would I be a beggar, the one who gave all she had, the blind man, the hemorrhaging woman or the Pharisee? I ponder this question as I journey through life. Am I at times the Pharisee, persecuting You with my ignorance to who You are, what You have done for me? Do I, like the blind man and the hemorrhaging woman know who You are and desire Your healing? Am I the beggar, searching for what You have to offer, seeking Your riches? Or may be I am the one who gave all I had, honoring Your presence?
Through my journey, I have been each of these. I have persecuted Jesus through my earthly desires and selfishness. I have thought of myself when I have meditated on the Passion as one who has spit on Jesus, that screamed “crucify him”. When I see myself in the Passion in this role, I identify with the affect of my sins. My sins affect not just my small world and inner being. They have a greater affect, a ripple affect that extends to my community and beyond. In essence, my sins today are the people of yesterday that persecuted and crucified Jesus. Sometimes that is a little hard to swallow – to consider my own sins a part of Jesus’ Passion.
Then there are times when I am the blind man or the hemorrhaging woman, seeking healing and knowing that Jesus is the source of that unending gift of life giving water. My healing comes in the form of both physical and spiritual healing. More often, my healing takes the form of spiritual healing and it is through the deeper relationship with Christ that I find that healing, through embracing the Body of Christ, found in both the Eucharist and the Church.
When I see myself as the beggar, I ponder the riches I seek. When I have fulfilled this role, have I sought from Jesus only to gain for myself or I have sought from Jesus riches to pour out upon others? Through my journey, I have done both. I remember when I was in college, I would pray my rosary or kneel down in prayer to ask for God to assist me in making a good grade on my exam. In my mind, I always felt that if I had studied and did my part, then prayed and asked God to do His part, I would be successful in making the grade. I guess it worked. But I think in my shallow faith at the time, I was begging God to help me make the grade for my own personal success, not considering what His intention was for that success. On the flip side, as I have grown in my faith, I often find myself praying for things that help me to be the person allowing God to fulfill His Will in or to accept His Will in the outcome of something I am praying for.
When I look at all these roles, I think I personally prefer to be more of the person who gave all that she had, honoring God’s presence. This is the role that I feel will provide holiness. This is the role I want to fulfill more often in my life as I journey forward to my final resting place. It is in this role that I accomplish all other roles and unite with God.
I think in our journey we each go through phases of each of these roles. It is important to do so because I think this is where growth in our relationship develops and becomes deeper so that we can establish holiness, our ultimate goal on this earth that God has given each of us. As we go deeper in our faith and develop a more prayerful relationship with God, we begin to move further away from some of the roles such as the persecutor. I know through my own journey that we are often relearning to walk. Each time we relearn, the falls and the time it takes to relearn to walk the journey become smaller and smaller as our conscience and heart unite to the one who created us to be Holy.
I want to end this post with a thought. What does it take to give all that we are, honoring God’s presence in all that we do on a daily basis? I don’t think it means we are perfect. I think it implies that we are doing the best that is capable of us, which is what God created you to do – hence holiness. God Bless!