Tuesday, May 14, 2013

take all my preconceptions



The forecast for the future is sunny.
There will be a time when the Sun fully appears.
Transfixed, but constantly in motion,
We move towards the horizon.


"As for the term philia, the love of friendship, it is used with added depth of meaning in Saint John's Gospel in order to express the relationship between Jesus and his disciples."
--Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est

Here is the funny thing about Christ's Transfiguration: there were only three Apostles there.
And I don't understand that.
Because it would seem to me that there were three Apostles that Christ was closer to than the other nine.
I wonder what the other nine thought of it?

But then, I suppose they had their own best friends.
If I've learned one thing after living in a colony of ten little women over the semester, close friendships naturally spring up and deepen between little pockets of individuals, due to the fact that human beings are not cookie-cutters, but rather breath-taking masterpieces, their very existence a testament to the love that breathed life into them.
And rather than harming a community, close bonds of friendship bring with them harmony.

And so perhaps apostles were glad that every time James-the-brother-of-John told stories, they usually began with:
"Okay, so this one time when I was up on the mountain with Peter, John, and Jesus..." 
I mean, maybe they weren't glad, because maybe the stories were always appallingly long or dull, or maybe James was a bad story-teller.
But I would think they would not resent his close friendship with Christ, but rather, maybe, be glad of it.
Point being, Christ was fully human.
And being human meanings inheriting and acquiring a lot of idiosyncrasies, not only from your parents, but from your particular environment.
Maybe Jude thought that Christ pronounced the word "Abba" funny ("Galilean accents, I'm telling you"); or maybe Simeon cringed interiorly every time Jesus said "Amen, Amen I say to you"; or maybe Phillip just had down-right different opinions on the proper way to build a table.
And maybe John preferred to sit quietly next to James and just listen to Jesus, and not really talk all that much.
Maybe.

They loved Him, no one doubts that, not even Thomas.
And so I doubt they begrudged Him his bosom friends.

"It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you"

We can't love humanity in the abstract.
A mother can't love her children.
But she can wake up and love her daugher Mary Jane or her little son Michael--she can love each person in the particular.


Sometimes these melancholy Christians' faces have more in common with pickled peppers than the joy of having a beautiful life.  
Joy cannot be held at heel: it must be let go. 
Joy is a pilgrim virtue.
--Papa Francis 

And in loving a someone in the particular, that love bears fruit and love's cup runneth over.
Love begets love.
And that's how love can spread from one minuscule, seemingly insignificant tribe in a pocket of the Fertile Crescent, to all the nations of the world.

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