the school of soft knocks
"The man who had been possessed was pressing to accompany" Jesus. —Mark 5:18
Some people will do anything for Jesus. They have "endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword's point" (Heb 11:36-37). Other people will throw Jesus out of town just because He had something to do with their losing a few thousand pork chops, pounds of bacon, and hams (Mk 5:17).
Most people, even Christians, do not see themselves as extremely in love or in hate with Jesus. They don't see themselves as martyrs because they often put selfish pleasures ahead of the Lord. Conversely, they don't see themselves as throwing Jesus out of town. These people are neither hot nor cold toward Jesus, but lukewarm (Rv 3:16).
Jesus loves us too much to let this lukewarmness continue. He will quietly, respectfully, yet persistently keep calling each of us by name and knocking on each of our doors (Rv 3:20). Eventually, we will no longer be able to brush Jesus off. Each of us will have to give our whole life to Him or crucify Him (see Heb 6:6). Because of Jesus' loving insistence that we abandon ourselves to Him, we eventually love or hate Him (Mt 6:24). We decide to be with Him forever in heaven or without Him forever in hell.
Jesus is knocking again. Answer the door.
Prayer: Jesus, may I do anything for You — even live and die for You.
Promise: "Go home to your family and make it clear to them how much the Lord in His mercy has done for you." —Mk 5:19
Praise: Fr. John continually proclaims the truths of the Catholic faith to his congregation, whether or not his people receive the message.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Dismantling the "Old Man" on audio AV 4A-1 or video V-4A.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 13, 2012
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