A Jesus that confronts, converts & consoles us. Well, He’s done very well with the first two in my life. How am I preparing ahead of this Christmas season and then on through until the next Advent season? There’s still so much of the path in front of me. I can see the goal set high on a mountain, but I haven’t even entered the foothills yet.
I can’t see the pitfalls and stumbling blocks that await me. I can only know they’re there. So the next step is to get my medical kit together to present to the Divine Healer.
There’ll be triumphs as well as injury. But He’ll give me a talking to when I try to do it all myself. He’ll teach me to allow Him to carry even more of the burden. He’ll console me when I’m ready to give up and He’s going to give me what I need to read the summit.
One of the things I’ll have to struggle through to reach the trailhead is crossing the river that is “coming out” so to speak (about my discernment). I’ve done so with some of my friends, but how will my family take it? I know not.
Mary had to have so many questions, so much uncertainty like me. I mean, think about especially after she gave birth to the Messiah. The next step in life was clear: to raise Him. Teach Him. Feed Him. Clothe Him. Change His nappies. But what was the next step in raising the Son of God? When He was old enough, take Him to the temple. Teach Him the Jewish tradition. Wait for instructions from God? Lead Him by the hand to the market to teach Him discipline and respect of all?
But that gift of uncertainty is one God gave us as well. He gave Mary many gifts he also gave us. The gift of choice. The gift of love. The gift of hope. The gift of belief. The gift of faith. The gift of motherhood.
That last one might be difficult for men to wrap their heads around. Maybe they’d rather think of it as fatherhood.
It does not work that way.
First, Mary nurtured Him in her womb during her pregnancy. We also nurture Him in us: in our hearts. He starts very small like the oft spoken of seed, and as we feed Him by learning more about Him and trying to live as He did, He matures to the point we’re ready to “give birth”… to live more fully our faith. Think of this stage as the conversion states: the time leading up to becoming a Christian or a member of the Church… confirmation, RCIA, First Communion…
Next is the raising Him stage; we feed Him, clothe Him, and make sure HE doesn’t stick His fingers in the electrical outlet. When we feed Him, He’s feeding us the love that only a God who died for us can have. As we clothe Him, He’s clothing us with the garments of understanding of His works. And while we’re making sure He doesn’t get into trouble, He’s teaching to not to get in trouble, teaching us to avoid sin and the devil.
This is the discipleship stage.
Lastly is the letting Him strike out and adventure on His own stage but that isn’t what happens. He is with us always. We are comfortable in our relationship with Him. We are both adults. We, the caretakers of the acorn that grew into a mighty oak, are mature in our faith. We journey side-by-side through the foothills as we make our way to the highest peak. It’s there that is His home and that He invites us, in full communion with Him, to help in the ministry.
When we feed the poor, He is there. When he heal the afflicted, He is there, When we visit the prisoner, He is there.
He is there in us, with us, and with those we are helping and touching in our lives.
I do’t have an equivalency for this stage. I supposed you could equate it to the Buddhist enlightenment, the Hindu’s nirvana, or the secularist’s heaven-on-earth. Maybe this is what it means to become a saint.
Or maybe it’s just another stop on God’s path for us.