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Friday, October 06, 2006

Who did Jesus Hang out With?

I turned on EWTN today and a phrase rang in my head and suddenly there was a "CLICK!" as a very bright light came on. I've understood this before, but somehow, today, the connection was really made.

That phrase was, "Who did Jesus hang out with?"

Apparently I was just plain disposed, today, to hear this message. To understand this message. And to pass on the reality of this Gospel message to others.

I remember when I had fallen away, how I still prayed, recognized God, recognized sin, even though I rejected the whole thing. I remember how I fought with God, told Him I knew better and yet, in the depths of my spiritual agony, I still cried for Jesus to help me.

All these years, both before and since my conversion, I have wondered why Jesus was still with me. Why was he still there, hounding me, while I sinned, while I ran away from Him, and while I actively fought him? Why did He never turn His Most Holy back and walk away, shaking the dust from His feet?

The answer is in that simple phrase: "Who did Jesus hang out with?"

Jesus hung out with sinners. He hung out with prostitutes, tax collectors (apparently quite an offense), with Gentiles and with those on the fringes. He hung out with the disenfranchized, with the lost, and with the lonely. He hung out with the people who had not only given up on society but on themselves.

And in His presence, Jesus explained that God loved them, that they were important, and that they were in need. He graced them with His presence, and gave them a taste of community...He welcomed them, He focused on what they needed, and rather than making them come to God...He brought God to them.

Jesus still brings God to us...He came as a human child, lived a life like any other man on earth, and then began His ministry...only to die for it. He died for us...He died for rebellious young adults like myself. He went to the Father and said, "Forgive her for she does not know what she is doing. Let me take her punishment."

And then he died a horrible death.

And then, 2000 years later I was born, I lived, I rebelled, and then I realized that He had never once given up on me. He never withdrew his extended hand. He never walked away, as much as I turned my back on Him, as much as I raged against Him, as much as I watered down what I had been taught so as to try to allay my conscience. He was still there and He followed me wherever I went. Why? Because I was already lost. He did not want be to be mired in a pit, to disappear into the darkness forever.

When Jesus was on earth, He went out of His way to find the sinners and he publicly proclaimed this. He gave His attention to those who most needed it...those who were wounded, those who were abandoned, shunned, or even lost by their own preference.

Jesus is still doing this today. He is still reaching out, he is still seeking out we, the sinners of the world, and once he brings us in he is putting us to work.

Well, Jesus found me and finally convinced me to come back home, and after a period of healing, He is putting me to work. Yet I'm still a sinner and He still seeks me in the depths of my injuries, ever patient, ever loving, and ever sacrificing so that I will never be lost again.

Jesus is doing this for you, right now. If you're reading this, then you are meant to read it, and Jesus is asking you to reach out and take His hand, to never give up on Him because He will NEVER give up on YOU.


Anonymous said...

What a great post to start my day with!!!! God bless you Adoro!!!!

RobKPhD said...

I think you have described the lot of us. Sounds a lot like me too.

Jeffrey Emery said...

Thanks for your thoughts. I linked this post to my blog:


Adoro said...

Thanks! This is an old one, and I had to go back and read it...and die in horror at the typos! Your visit is a double blessing!