Who thinks they know better than Jesus??? (formerly – Living)

In my faith journey, I am noticing a trend in some followers of Christ that has a tendency to give me pause.  Things that to me, seem so obvious me – apparently aren’t so obvious to everyone.  We’re all human, learn, see, feel and grow at different rates.  In this updated essay I have chosen to cut out some dialog from my first “printing” in an effort to be more direct and to the point.

After reading the Gospel reading this morning (1.20)

Gospel Mk 3:13-19

 Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted
and they came to him.
He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles,
that they might be with him
and he might send them forth to preach
and to have authority to drive out demons:
He appointed the Twelve:
Simon, whom he named Peter;
James, son of Zebedee,
and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges,
that is, sons of thunder;
Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew,
Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus;
Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,
and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

I found myself looking through my older posts that i have been slowly editing and re-posting.  This particular article is mentioned in other articles I wrote so I “dug” this one up and am re-posting after adding/editing.

life-is-out-thereLife is out there! Happy. Sad. Work. Fun. Joy.  Joy in Love.  …Joy In Him.

The day I wrote the last version I had read a piece that contained a lot of information that I knew by my own life experience.  I realized as I wrote that the tone of what was written was not so much for me as for those that have not fully experienced or lived life.  I know when I say “this Is not the life God intended for His children” that I am absolutely speaking the truth.  There is no reason to live in a box (or) think God is in a box.

not in box.jpg

Enough of this living in a box already.  Play in the sun and play in the mud!  You cannot really teach life (God) experiences when you stay in a box that forbids you from experiencing life, Jesus does not put us in a box!!!

I have mulled this essay over and rereading it I remember this particular Sunday; at mass a monthly homilist made a blunder that still has me saying “yeah right?!?”  

 “may    they    love”.  ~ Was it a blunder, or was the Holy Spirit stirring up some inspiration???

There is a well-known Franciscan Priest (Richard Rohr) who both clergy (from all denominations) as well as laymen read.  I have heard him referred to as a spiritual master and I believe he is, though my opinion  may not always jive with his, – I realize we are individuals so our experiences and even gender may play into that.  The truth is there is much to learn from him.

On the particular morning that I first wrote this, among my other email subscriptions I found an article by the Franciscan Priest I mention above.  My frustration was because so much of what is said seems so obvious to me.  Maybe it is the spiritual female me that easily grasps what the male, theologian, Roman Catholic finds eluding?  Something perhaps for me to contemplate.  We are wired differently so our thought process as well as life experience do come into play.

Below I am placing a copy / past the entirety with credits given:  I have changed font to blue on portions that stand out to me.  I have written in bold blue, my own comments.

5/15/16 –  Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation

Initiation                                                                    Men’s Rites of Passage (MROP). CAC archives.

Yours Life Is Not about You

{True, not all get this – but? Parents do, many people do}

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

One reason we Christians have misunderstood many of Jesus’ teachings is that we have not seen Jesus’ way of education as that of a spiritual master. He wants to situate us in a larger life, which he calls the “Reign of God.” But instead we make him into a Scholastic philosopher if we are Roman Catholic, into a moralist if we are mainline Protestant, or into a successful and imperialistic American if we are Evangelical. Yet the initiatory thrust of Jesus’ words is hidden in plain sight. {Who made this so complicated?  I have understood who Jesus was. I did not realize it was that difficult to see?}

Study, for example, his instructions to the twelve disciples, when he sent them into society in a very vulnerable way (no shoes or wallet, like sheep among wolves). How did we miss this? Note that it was not an intellectual message as much as it was an “urban plunge,” a high-risk experience where something new and good could happen. It was designed to change the disciples much more than it was meant for them to change others! (See Matthew 10:1-33 or Luke 10:1-24.) Today we call it a reverse mission, where we ourselves are changed and helped by those whom we think we are serving. {Truly – LIVING-  life !!!}

When read in light of classic initiation patterns, Jesus’ intentions are very clear. He wanted his disciples–then and now–to experience the value of vulnerability. Jesus invites us to a life without baggage so we can learn how to accept others and their culture. Instead, we carry along our own country’s assumptions masquerading as “the good news.” He did not teach us to hang up a shingle to get people to attend our services. He taught us exactly the opposite: We should stay (live in our) in their homes and eat their (our) food! This is a very strong anti-institutional model.

Yes, indeed.  Chosen by Jesus Himself, Apostle, Rock – Foundation of the church – right!?!

Peter;  Husband, Child, Son In-law, Parent, Friend and Disciple of Jesus? 

First Pope of the Roman Catholic Church?

 He {Jesus/God} knew what LIVING life was and Jesus chose him}. 

The original 12 Apostles chosen (with witness) by Jesus Christ were all married with families and lives that they were able to maintain.  They succeeded at this along with being (chosen) founding leaders of the church. 

Jesus Christ, God the Father nor the Holy Spirit ever stated one should forgo living and experiencing a full life in order to serve.  Men experienced with living life were chosen. 

How did this ever become so mixed up? 

Who thinks they know better than Jesus???

 He {Jesus} knew what LIVING life was and Jesus chose him}. 

One can only imagine how different history would have been had we provided this initiatory training for our missionaries. We might have borne a message of cosmic sympathy instead of imperialism, providing humble reconciliation instead of religious wars and the murdering of “heretics,” Jews, “pagans,” and native peoples in the name of Jesus. Amen!!!

When we could not make clear dogma, moral code, or a practical war economy out of Jesus’ teaching, we simply abandoned it in any meaningful sense. His training of novices has had little or no effect on church style or membership, by and large. When one throws out initiatory training, the whole latter program and plan of life is left without foundation or containment. Now we seek a prize of later salvation {I believe our heaven can, in the very least, begin this celebration on earth with Jesus when lived properly!!!}instead of the freedom of present simplicity. I am told that the Sermon on the Mount–the essence of Jesus’ teaching–is the least quoted in official Catholic Church documents.

However, there were always people like Francis of Assisi, Simone Weil, Menno Simons, Peter Waldo, George Fox, Catherine of Genoa, Peter Maurin, Mother Teresa, and Dorothy Day who made Jesus’ Gospel their life map. They knew that lifestyle was more important than theories, intellectual belief systems, or abstruse theology. Once you know that your life is not about you, then you can also trust that your life is your message. This gives you an amazing confidence about your own small life--precisely because it is no longer a small life, it is no longer just yours, and it is not all in your head. Henceforth, you do not try to think yourself into a new way of living, but you first live in a new way, from a new vantage point–and your thinking changes by itself.

“I live no longer, not I,” Paul shouted with his one daring life (Galatians 2:20). And this one-man show turned a Jewish sect into a worldwide religion. Paul allowed his small life to be used by the Great Life, and that is finally all that matters. Your life is not about you. It is about God and about allowing Life and Death to “be done unto me,” which is Mary’s prayer at the beginning of her journey and Jesus’ prayer at the end of his.

Gateway to Silence

From death to life

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Adam’s Return: The Five Promises of Male Initiation (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2004), 62-64, 66.

Jesus taught us how to live.  He taught us, as humans that we make mistakes, we fail but we can overcome failures and thrive.  We can love God with all of our hearts and He taught us all of the gifts our Father has given to us.  Live life thoughtfully, carefully in His name.  Follow His teachings first and foremost.

A very real truth in realizing that life is not;

all about you, then you can also trust that your life is your message.  This gives you and amazing confidence about your own small life – precisely because it is no longer a small life, it is no longer just yours, and it is not all in your head” henceforth, you do not try to think yourself into a new way of living, but you first live in a new way, from a new vantage point – and your thinking changes by itself.” 

This may be understood in living the life that God really did intend for us, that Jesus asks of us.  This  means experiencing and living a full life in a way that serves Our Father but also others here on earth.  There is a very real truth in realizing our “small life” will touch others and help them grow in both their everyday life experiences which too often is overlooked in religious teachings, and – in spiritual growth to our loving Father. 

This is why Jesus never imposed rules and laws upon us that would lessen our lives experience and/or gifts from God the Father.  When we live in them, celebrate our lives we are celebrating and honoring God.  When we celebrate our lives and God, we share His love and way of life with others which makes that “small life” one that is not about ourselves. 

Gods gifts, the crucifixion of Jesus, and His resurrection for the forgiveness of sin and to bring a new way of life – for  living, as we walk through our lives – with our eyes on God the Father.  Spending time with the Holy Spirit you may see these truths, you may celebrate these truths.  Living in this way is not selfish, it is about becoming truly selfless.

Live.  Donate clean socks to a homeless shelter, volunteer at a local food bank, offer to take a single parents kids on a day trip with your family (and cover the expenses – they won’t forget!), brings meals to someone recovering from surgery or who has brought home a new baby, donate extra building materials to Habitat for Humanity (and your time too?), offer to bring someone in recovery to meetings or a methadone clinic (transportation is a huge issue for many in recovery!), hold up traffic and let people out onto a busy road, donate your time and experience in any way that you can. Share God with others.  Invite singles to holidays in your home.  Invite lonely persons to holidays in your home.  Take an elder to lunch or shopping for that new blouse.

But. . .

Remember to  experience & celebrate the other very real life gifts God has given us

 so many neglect to notice or for reasons that Jesus did not teach,

refrain from celebrating. . ..

Play in the puddles,

gaze at your snoring spouse,

laugh at the muddy puppy foot prints,

eat ice cream for breakfast on your birthday,

snuggle a baby after they’ve spit up on you

. . . Kiss in the rain. 

Live Life.

In living, we teach God’s love

Accept – and – thank God for these gifts with love

*Note:  I wrote the original version of this many months ago.  This evening as I was editing, it really struck me that we are as Christians to directly follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.Who thinks they know better than Jesus???

God gave us live – to live.


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