Elijah was about to be taken up to God. Elisha, his successor, asked Elijah: "May I receive a double portion of your spirit?" (2 Kgs 2:9). Elijah told him that he had "asked for something that is not easy" (2 Kgs 2:10). However, Elisha did receive what he asked for, because he persevered and stayed with Elijah, no matter what. Mary Magdalene stayed with Jesus, whether she had to be at the foot of the cross, or at His tomb (Jn 19:25; 20:1ff). Both Elisha and Mary received power because they stayed.
Often in the beginning of a new ministry or spiritual venture, there is a period of freshness, a "spiritual honeymoon." Like St. Peter, we want to stay in the "honeymoon" graces of the mountaintop (Mk 9:5). Yet Jesus moves elsewhere (Mk 1:38). As His disciples, we follow in His footsteps. For us, there can be no joy apart from Jesus (Jn 15:5). If Jesus moves on, we stay by His side. Wherever He leads, we "will not leave" Him (2 Kgs 2:6).
Staying with Jesus seems easy on the spiritual honeymoon. Eventually, however, Jesus goes to places we'd just as soon not go. As He leads us to the cross, we're tempted to stay put rather than stay with Him. But if we don't stay with Jesus, the power of the Spirit doesn't stay with us.
Staying with Him is "something that is not easy." Jesus, the Suffering Servant, looks at us and asks, "Can you stay with Me, no matter what?" (see Mk 14:37) Where is Jesus leading you now? Will you stay with Him?
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2008 through July 31, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 4, 2008.