Precious Beyond Words (Apr. 26, 2015)

As I write this reflection, I’m watching a stinkbug crawl up my window screen. In the “Michiana” area, we were plagued with them in the Fall, and I guess they’re coming out again. Good thing I don’t have a cat; but it’s nervous-making enough to watch Gus the cockatiel eyeing the thing as possibly something to eat. Can you use tomato juice on a stink-bugged bird like you can with a skunked dog?

Anyway, as I was watching that thing, I was also thinking of the Gospel for Sunday. Six times in 5 verses Jesus says that He will lay down His life for His sheep. Let’s bring that home a little bit. After all, doesn’t it seem a little bit absurd that Jesus, Almighty God, would lay down his life for us? The general tendency is for those in power to tell others to lay down their lives (especially economically) so the powerful can continue to prosper.

Well, imagine that you love stinkbugs (I know you’re going ewwwww, but play along anyway). They are wretched creatures and a real nuisance. You really pity how wretched they are and you want to help them out. And, let’s say you have the power to become a stinkbug. So, you become a stinkbug and you live among them. You eat like them, you talk like them, you walk like them and you start guiding them. You start showing them how they can live their lives fully. But alas, one day these stinkbugs get tired of you. They turn against you, and they kill you!

Now there are plenty of people who think I am a stinkbug. There are plenty of people who I think are stinkbugs. We’d like to say “Get out of my life!” But to Jesus and His Father, we are incredibly precious, beyond words to describe just how precious. We’re worth dying for. In the Second Reading, John tries to capture some of that preciousness: “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

I can’t wait!!

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