This is a real tough time to live in Arizona. It is hot, muggy and energy draining. What must be the struggle of those who have to spend their working day outdoors? They must have a tremendous sense of dedication and commitment to brave the burning heat and the energy sapping humidity. Yet they have that willingness to get up and get going, to meet the challenge of each new day. We see our fellow human beings trimming trees, working construction, handling even hotter tar to pave streets and roads, so we can travel with delight and comfort. When we see and enjoy wonderful buildings, trimmed lawns and gardens, well paved streets and highways, do we ever reflect on the price that has been paid by others so we have comfort and delight? Their willingness to do the most difficult work really adds so much pleasure, joy, and happiness.
Willingness is an essential element for us as well as we face the challenge of our spiritual journey, which is our every day life's experience. We must ask for the willingness to be able to see with ever new lenses, and not be afraid to be led on a path we have not planned on. "We journey to Him we do not know, by a path we do not know." That is what St. John of The Cross teaches us. Our egos want certainty. We are most comfortable worshiping at the altar of the idol.......CERTAINTY. We have made such an idol of certainty, God help those who have the cheek to challenge that certainty. That is why The Prophet Jesus ran into so much trouble. That is why He was killed. All who are prophets of His message have met the same fate. Maybe not physical death but today’s equivalent. Some of the “killing” is more deadly, and more difficult to endure than physical death. That is over in a second. Today’s "killing" can last a long, long time. As in the time of Jesus, this is done by well minded people, who think they have the whole truth, and are not prepared to listen ad see anew. We have to have that willingness to not only listen to the words of Jesus Christ, we have to actually hear. We have to listen, take the message deep within and then say, "YES", to what is being asked of us. This is scary, for it leads us into uncertainty. Is it any wonder then that our original "YES" is always in the process of becoming a deeper "YES". Some of us will say yes, then we go and live the life of "NO ". Then the Good Shepherd reaches in that lonely, painful, place of our no. We are then, by grace, able to say a deeper 'YES". This will lead to commitment. So our journey is, according to Fr. Rohr, YES, NO, yes, then commitment.
Those that Jesus spoke to were not the most receptive of people. He was The Light that came into to the world, but was not received as such. He was The Wisdom of God, teaching and not being listened to or understood. He applied the following words to His listeners, and through them these word are addressed to you and I. These contain a great challenge and warning for you and I today. “As it was so it is, and ever shall be." Listen as you will, you shall not understand, look intently as you will, you shall not see. Sluggish indeed are these peoples hearts. They have scarcely heard with their years, they have firmly closed their eyes; otherwise they may see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts and turn back to me, and I should heal them. WE can, however take heart in the following words of encouragement, "But blessed are your eyes because they see and blessed are your ears because they hear”. That is the daily struggle, at least for me. I wrote down the following, from a book I was reading. Does it not describe us very well, as we approach every liturgy, every person, every action, of our journey as spiritual beings having an oh so human experience.
We, I, approach all of our daily reality, either (a) Preoccupied , (b) Closed, (c) Stuck, or (d) Ready. How we see, in the way we are present to life, will depend whether we are going to live life, and live it to the fullest, God's dream-His aisling, or just exist. The latter will lead us to discover here on earth our own private hell and open others to the same reality