Love Beyond Understanding
It is possible to know a person for many years—to even live with this person, talk to him, and share interests, one’s deepest thoughts, feelings, and hopes, and yet, suddenly, discover that even after all the years this person does not understand one at all. One might be tempted to feel embittered or disappointed, resentful and perplexed. And this lack of understanding can be a real source of suffering.
Jesus must have experienced something like this in relation to His disciples. He must have been in some way surprised by the fact that, after sharing so many things with them, they did not understand Him even after the Resurrection. St. Mark suggests that the longer the Apostles knew Jesus, the less they understood what He said and Who He was. While Jesus must have felt amazed at their lack of understanding, the Apostles must have also felt helpless. This mutual misunderstanding was a source of suffering for both Jesus and the Apostles.
Like the Apostles, we often disappoint Jesus with our lack of understanding, particularly our lack of acceptance of the Cross. Often we are surprised or frustrated that we have to suffer. This is not surprising. For most of our lives we have heard the world and the media tell us that we should avoid suffering and seek what is pleasurable. Jesus, however, calls us to follow a different way—He calls us to follow the way of true Love, the way of the Cross.
Whether we misunderstand Jesus or not; whether we embrace our own crosses or not; whether we even run away from suffering or face the battle, Jesus still Loves us so much, and He never ceases to have mercy on us. While our human friends might reject us because we misunderstand them, Jesus never ceases being our friend because He knows that we have Only Him. He knows that He is our Best Friend—that He is the Only One Who understands us perfectly, Who truly cares about our future, and Who will accompany each of us as we carry our crosses to the end.
I would like to invite you to take some time to think about how much Jesus Loves you. Maybe think about one time in your life when you disappointed Jesus, and pray, “Jesus, I have disappointed and misunderstood You. But, I believe that You truly Love me. Thank You for Your Love and Mercy!” Only in Heaven will we truly know how much God Loves us. But God wants us to at least begin the amazing discovery here!
Yours in Christ,
Readings for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Lectionary 146
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