Friday, March 29, 2019

Love Reverses Everything

Ultimately it is Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection that are the endless second-chance he offers us. And now he sets his face toward Jerusalem and all the horror that will befall him there. “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! If he is truly the king of Israel, let him come down now from that cross, and then we will believe in him.” So, the onlookers will jeer as Jesus bleeds and pants and breathes his last; they are certain now that he could not possibly be the Messiah, because God would not allow his chosen One to undergo such agony. This proves it; Jesus was a fraud, a blasphemer. Not true, for God’s power is made perfect in the weakness of love poured out. Love reverses everything.

Jesus is our Exemplar, our Hope, our unending Opportunity. No wonder that in the Prologue to the Rule, Saint Benedict offers us this amazing throwaway line: “The days of this life have been given us as a time of truce for the correction of our faults.” A time of truce. We’ve been given some extra time, an acceptable time. Now is the most acceptable time. Through God’s mercy and the grace of our monastic vocation, our lives have been given back to us. We have the time we need to make our return to the Lord, to start over, to do deeds of love. The constant ringing of the bells is the incessant reminder that there’s still time, time to hand everything over to him, time to continually return. Again and again he speaks to us, “Those I love, I reprove. With all your heart, repent. I am here knocking at the door. If you hear my voice, then open the door that I may enter this house and dine with you, and you with me. All I have is yours.”