Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Father Frank moment

All of you old Shalomer friends of mine will likely appreciate this...

This is today's Gospel reading:

Jn 3:16-21

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light,so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

While I was doing my meditation this morning I just couldn't get out of my head one of Fr. Frank's most famous homilies: "Jesus as Light, or Jesus with a Clipboard." As I was praying I came to the conclusion that there really is a lot of wisdom here, mixed in with Fr. Frank's classic humor, of course.

Jesus as Light: As we draw closer to Christ, the Light, our lives necessarily become permeated more and more by His light, which exposes those blemishes and sins which keep us from Him. But it's a purging which is driven by love; sometimes no less painful, but motivated by love for the One who gave Himself for us.

On the other hand we have "Jesus with a Clipboard." This image of Jesus has as its motivation for pefection the fear of Christ's judgment of our sins. (Insert mental image of Fr. Frank pretending to pose with glasses on the tip of his nose looking down at a laundry list of our sins)

While I think it's good to have a healthy fear of Christ's just judgment, it's not enough to simply be afraid of doing wrong; we need to work toward that "perfect contrition" for our sins which has at its root pure love for God as the motivation behind our desire for pefection and all our good works.

Anyway, just a few things I've been thinking about today.


Michael and Kristine said...

haha...totally remember sitting on the floor at the shalom center seeing that!

Amelia and Bill said...

Me too, but I never really thought about it. I think I was just too distracted by the joke about the clipboard to get what he meant! AH! Hope you are doing well, though! I miss you guys!