Day 36 – Love at Zero Distance
Like all the apostles who promised Jesus not to desert Him as He went through His Passion, we know that in reality, most of us will. When you were asked yesterday whether you would choose to be a deserter or a faithful follower, what was your choice? None of us want to be identified as a deserter. But why, in reality, only so few of us are found at the foot of the Cross? What is going on here? Let us turn to Mother Mary, who has always been following Jesus closely, both physically and spiritually, especially during the Passion of Christ. She was connected with Jesus; she was in solidarity with Him in spirit.
No circumstances or external threats could deter Mother Mary from following Jesus, let alone convince her to desert Him. We can be sure that she was constantly confronted by Satan, who also "followed" Jesus closely to prevent people from getting close to Jesus. Satan knows Jesus is the BRIDGE to God the Father. So, Satan is determined to burn that bridge!
It does not only try to destroy Jesus, but it also vows to destroy anyone who commits themselves as His disciples throughout history. Anyone who gets close to Jesus, it will attack, using countless tactics previously described in this retreat. But let us not be gripped by fears and fall into despair as that is a trap as well. Let us learn from Mother Mary. If she has been able to conquer Satan to remain with Jesus, we have hope too!
Like Mary, whoever keeps minimal distance from Jesus holds the key to Heaven, to the Father's House. It is as simple as that!
Let us turn our gaze to Our Creator and Our God to find out His approach in relating to us. First of all, God has created us in His image. He has taken us as His bride and cares for our every need in minute details. Then in order to redeem us, He was born of a human, the virgin Mary, to become a human being like us so that He could dwell among us. In doing so, He experienced all forms of human sufferings, and at the end, He died the most shameful death on the Cross. Before Jesus returned to the Father, He left us His Body and Blood to live among us and to accompany us until the day we are forever united with God in Heaven. Imagine for a moment. If you have created robots, will you become a robot to die for them in order to save them?
Can we see that God's approach is a 'zero-distance' approach? Unfortunately, His 'zero-distance' approach is met with our 'keep-a-distance' approach. What a gap!
How is it possible that God cares for us so much more than we care for Him? In fact, it is we who need Him the most. Where is the missing link?
Our relationship with God, which is equivalent to Our Journey Home, requires consistency and persistence. In order to arrive at our destination ahead of time, we cannot afford to be idle, to make unnecessary stops, or to take on a wait-and-see approach like the rabbit. At the end of the day, the humble ones win the race.
Jesus said in Mark 10:31,
'Many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.'
Even though the younger son went astray, yet once he had woken up, he did not allow anything to stop him from returning home to his father.
His humility, determination, and perseverance helped him to win the proud rabbit in successfully arriving at his destination safe and early.
What can you learn from Mother Mary in relating to, following, and loving Jesus?
Are you a rabbit or a turtle, the elder son or the younger son?
I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen!
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
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My journey back Home is in a turtle’s pace, but I might lack its perseverance.
I am like the younger son, always doing things which break the father’s heart. Sometimes, I am like the elder son when I becomes jealous towards others.
Oh Lord, I always want to keep a close relationship with You. Please help me in being consistent and persevere in loving You!
I learn from Mother Mary in relating to following and loving Jesus is to suffer in silence and ponder everything in Her heart.
I should be like the turtle in the race and not like the rabbit.