Jean Vanier, in his book Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John, writes:
“Shouldn’t seekers of God be open and passionately interested in all that existed,
in all that was human.
Shouldn’t seekers of God be open and passionately interested
in all that speaks of God and manifests God in creation,
in all that we are discovering about this creation through science and in the hearts of people in different churches, traditions,
religions and other groups?
We all need to belong to a community
and to be well rooted in faith, a church,
a vision of God and of reality.
But we need to deepen our understanding of the word of God.
We are left impoverished
if we are not passionate for the truth in all its manifestations
and if we no longer see how God is being revealed
outside of our group.
Why are we blinded to these manifestations of God?
Is it because we are comfortable and secure
in our way of life, our certitudes and our feeling of elitism
and we do not want to change?
Are we frightened of anything that might disturb us?
The God of Love and the love of God are calling us to go forth
on this journey to union with God.
That means deepening our interior life -
which is our only real security -
in order to walk more confidently into the things
God may be calling us to do” (pp. 178-79).
As we observed last week, our Lord Jesus requires his disciples to be perfect as their Heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48). And this quote from Vanier reminds me of the need to know who this Father is–who this God of Love is. And what we know of the Father is that he encounters the world with impartiality. This is difficult for most of us because we are afraid mostly of what we don’t know. We are also afraid of what has hurt us in the past. We may also be afraid of unpleasant consequences we know to be coming in light of what God’s will requires.
Whatever the case, if we are to engage the world with the same mind as the Father, we need to be prepared to lower our selves and our propensity for distinction, discrimination, and trepidation for the sake of loving the uncertain, unfamiliar, unaccepted, unwanted, unforgiving, unlovely, and the unknown. This requires, as Vanier states, and interior life which is deeply abiding and interacting in and with knowledge of the One who is amazingly able to love all and encounter all. Jesus tells us to be perfect as our Father! While we will never be perfect at being perfect, we, nevertheless, are called to absorb the external and internal implications of God’s will in order to live as those with consistent and reliable integrity.
Love does not, nor will it ever, play favorites. Love welcomes acceptance and rejection. It matters not the result! Love is not subject to results. Love is the motivation! Whatever the results Love yields, it does not matter! Love loves for Love’s sake! It plays no favorites! Be perfect! Do you hear your Lord from the cross of his murder? Of his humiliation? Of his depreciation? Of his condescension? To the whole world he cries out for the sake of Love,
For they know not,
What they do.”
Do you play favorites with God’s will?
Do you abide in the convenient?
Do you abide in your favorite?
Do you abide in your past?
Do you play favorites?
“What more are you doing than others? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same?” (Mt 5:47)