Sunday, March 28, 2010
Reflections After Mass
Theme Song: Above all by Lenny LeBlanc
March 28, 2010 - Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
See the following link for Mass Readings.
The reading of Isaiah reminds me that, no matter how good one may be at speaking or communicating in some fashion, no matter how well one can listen, and even if one is obedient it does not mean that things in life will not try to tear a person down. No, these things will happen to a person no matter how good they try to be. So, it's a matter of how one reacts to the difficulties that makes the difference. You can either drown in the sorrows, and let the troubles over take you, or you can fight them, tread water and put hope in God, as well as not let the things that bring you problems get to you. It's easier said than done.
But what interested me was the enactment of the Gospel from Luke, to which my Parish did the alternative reading. The Psalm and reading of St. Paul's letter to the Philippians mainly segues into the Gospel. And what is important to me about the Gospel is that it indeed shows the battle of ideas and principalities, and what happens when the conflict manifests into the physical world. The charges made against Jesus are that he is misleading the people, won't pay taxes to Caesar, and is claiming to be the king of the Jews. What it boils down to is that they don't like what Jesus is teaching. The masses prefer a murderer over Jesus, even those closest to him deny him. He is mocked and sent to be executed by crucifixion. And yet, among his dying words are, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."
Forgiveness is hard. Most of the world is unforgiving. And living in the world, it is no wonder why it can be so easy to be tempted, or flat out just not be able to forgive. But still, Jesus does so even unto death.
I look back on the past few months, and yeah, I have to admit not being able to forgive easily. I have felt betrayed by people I considered friends. Mocked and hated by these same so-called friends. I have been exiled from a few places I once called home in SL. And I have had even family members in real life reject me, though the last one is from nearly 2 years ago, and that is one of the greatest betrayals I have had to deal with in my life. I won't go into detail, but, yep, it didn't help me in being able to forgive. And yet, when I think about it, those who have hurt me, and even hindered my life in ways that have made it difficult to move forward, a part of me knows, that they don't know what they are doing. Or if they do, they have done so in blindness of heart and mind.
In a way, it's like in the movie Avatar. The humans, they don't understand the Na'vi. They fear them, look at them as a nuisance, as savages. The humans reason it as a matter of security and survival, even though it is they that some to the land and are devouring it of its nature. Killing its Mother, as was done on Earth in killing their own Mother. But they know not what they do, and are distracted from the bigger picture. Unobtanium, while of material value, is hardly worth anything compared to the value of Pandora itself as a whole. This is true of Earth as well. It may not be some biological network in the same way as Pandora, but the world we live in in real life is filled with energy that we borrow. We live on alloted time, we can exert our energy given as we please because of free will. But, we don't often know what to do with what is given to us.
Jesus, then, is an oddity to us, because, if one is Christian, then what we are to believe is that Jesus, as the Son of God was, from the beginning, and ever shall be, God. In that, no matter what area in development he was in the formation of his carnal body, he always was, and always knew who he was. This is not so for the majority, if not all of humanity. We are taught philosophically that we are always developing and becoming, not that we are at the fullness of who we really are. We have to search and seek out such things that we think will improve us, and bring us closer to being whole. And yet, Jesus was, is, and shall always be whole regardless of his physical stages of development.
And so, humanity, when it interacts with something different in nature than itself often reacts out of fear. Consider, the reason it can be so difficult to forgive can be due to fear. Sure, it may be because someone angered you. But yet, anger comes for many reasons, often because of disappointments or frustrations. And there are feelings of hurt involved. So thus, fear of being hurt again drives the wedge needed to make forgiving undesirable. But yet, Jesus can forgive - and he can do so without fear, even under the pains of death.
So, when I think of what has happened to me, as related above, a part of me just has to say, "So what if they harmed me?" I sought out to take on the imitation of Christ, and, with getting reviled for doing so, how can I complain when I find similar suffering, but yet not to the point of death that Christ went through. It hurts, but still, I must forgive. For those who did what they did to me know not what they do. They may not be sorry, and are unforgiving themselves, but that doesn't mean I can't forgive.