Despite my brain’s acknowledgment that the Apostles who walked with Christ were often confused, bumbling, sinful, doubtful, and just plain wrong, I often entertain a semi-healthy jealousy of them. I’m jealous (Aren’t you?) that they were allowed to converse with our Lord over a daily meal, to hear His beautiful voice, to look deeply into His spark-filled eyes, to lean on His strong, dusty shoulder, to whisper in His ear. I read the story of the paralytic in Jesus’ own hometown (Mark 2), and I am jealous on behalf of all those in our hometown – paralyzed by fear, grief, shame, illness, pride – who would benefit from the kind of personal healing He was freely offering that day; I am jealous when I think, “Oh, if only I could carry my friend to Jesus like that!” Or sometimes, “If only someone strong could take that kind of ridiculous risk for me today!” Every day, I crave His true presence, and so my response to the gospel characters is often one of just wanting to reach through the pages of my Bible to give all those blessed fools a wake-up call. A really loud one. “HEY!” I would yell, “OPEN YOUR EYES! THAT’S THE KING OF THE UNIVERSE! HE’S RIGHT THERE!! REVEL IN IT!!”
Perhaps what I need at these times is a big dose of reality. Because the reality is that despite that fact that we are often confused, bumbling, sinful, doubtful, and just plain wrong, we can walk with Christ every day of our lives. We can converse with Him in prayer, share the very most intimate of meals with Him at the Eucharistic table, hear His voice in Holy Scripture, look deeply into His eyes when serving others, lean on His strength through our bonds of Baptism and Confirmation, and whisper secrets to Him in the chapel. We can bring our friends to Christ through intercessory prayer, fasting, and personal invitation. We can even expose and eradicate our paralysis through the great gifts of Reconciliation and Anointing. We have the Church. We have the Sacraments. We have the Priesthood. We have the Bible. We have Each Other. “HEY!” I hear the Apostles calling. “Open your eyes. That’s the King of the Universe. He’s right there.”
Let’s revel in it. Together.
P.S. Speaking of Apostles: please plan to join us for the blessing and dedication on Thursday, February 8 at 6:30 PM!