|That Hour With Jesus|
|JESUS HAD INVITED ME TO SPEND AN HOUR WITH HIM
I was a bit uptight about it, so for days I prepared by boning up on my seminary course. In Christology and I reread the documents of Vatican II. I glanced over my notes on Lonegran's Method in theology and breezed through another on Liberation theology. After all, I didn't want to seem too far out of it.
I looked through the four Gospels, again, too, just in case He referred to something in His past recored there. And I cleaned up my room (as I faithfully do each year anyway), because He insisted on coming here instead of meeting in the chapel or on neutral grounds.
When He came I started to genuflect and kiss His hand, but He pulled me up and said :Can't we just sit down together?"
I felt awkward and didn't know how to start the conversation. Reading my mind, he said "Relax! I just like to be here with you and enjoy the scenery from your window. The river and skyline look beautiful today."
Well I could hardly believe that. If I'm busy and can't afford that waste of time, He must be infinitely busier. And there were so many important things to accomplish during that hour. I really wanted to get the most out of it. But He just sat there in silence with hand on my shoulder. :Lord," I broke the silence, "Where do you stand on the Christological controversy on how humanly conscious You were of Your divinity and future life before Your death and resurrection?"
"What's that got to do with our enjoying this scenery together?" He asked.
More silence. I was uneasy. I reached for the book on process theology and said "He really has something here on the development of consciousness and the ..."
"What difference does it made," He broke in, "to our time together here? Do you like the way my Father has fashioned these clouds in process and the flowing river?."
More silence. I opened the book of liberation theology. "How can your gospel be authentically proclaimed, Lord, to people enslaved by oppressive economic and social structures?"
You haven't forgiven your brother down the hall yet, nor let me heal your anger and unkind judgements of him, have you?" He countered.
"That doesn't answer my question, Lord."
"Your question does nothing to our precious time together except mess it up."
More silence. "Are you happy with Vatican II and the aftermath of it, Lord?"
"Are you?" He returned.
"Oh, yes - - some of the new thinking and changes are really good, but I think some of the liberals have carried things too far and some of the far-right conservatives are obstructive and not thinking with the Church."
"You're impossible, " He laughed. "Aren't you happy to spend a few friendly minutes with me without trying to get some new insights for your lousy - - I mean brilliant - - class lecture?"
"Your confusing me Lord, I was taught how to meditate 34 years ago in the novitiate. And I've studied ever since. I'm not exactly new at this, you know."
"No, not new - - just a bit slow - - and dumb. But I love you anyway." That helped - - but not much.
More silence. I saw a shelf I forgot to dust and a letter that had to be answered and notes for the next class that I need to prepare. I was getting more restless. "Lord, would you like a glass of juice or something? It would take only a minute to run down and get one."
"And what would I do while you're gone? I prefer we just sit here together." Silence. "Do you love Me?" He asked.
"Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you."
"I liked that when Peter said it." He childed. "But is it really you?"
"Honestly," I protested, "honestly - - you're not making this hour very easy for me."
"Your are the one who's making it hard." He replied. I just like to spend time with you, sharing My presence with you and assuring you of My love. You don't even have to entertain me when we are together. Just be there, okay?" More silence. "Who do you say I am?" He asked, nudging my shoulder.
"Well, I'm with the best of our theologians, Lord, who say that Your are - - You are the escatological manifestation of the ground of our being; you are the incarnate word of God; you are our untimate kerrygna and the full revelation of the Trinitarian, Christological, soteriological antithetic and ecclesial mysteries of our lives."
There was a long pause before He said, "What?" Then He exploed with laughter, rose and raised His arms straight up with His head back roaring. He gave me a big bear hug. "Yes, you're impossible! But I still love you." And He left, still laughing all the way down the hall.
I stood gazing out the window for a few moments, still confused, before getting back to the important things on a desk full of work.
THEN I REALLY MISSED HIM
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