Last week I wrote that if Lent was about making “room for God” – and that is a good start – then the Easter season and beyond should be about coming to realize that God is the entire room! “God should be not merely the reference point but the whole context out of which we operate. God is not merely the source of our existence, he is the substance of our existence, the very life we have, and without God we would be lifeless, even if we are alive. Put another way, if Jesus is not Lord of all, he is not Lord at all.”
I think St. Francis understood that God is not an abstract philosophical construct or a theological theory, but the One who gives us life every day, is the reason we get up in the morning, and is the focus of our praise. God is both our creator and our redeemer. Both our raison d’etre and the reason why we do what we do. God is both the source of love and the sort of love we should have and express. God is the overwhelming, awesome, all-loving being that can sweep our lives into wholeness, completeness, and rest. He is Lord of all.
But that transformation in the way we view God does not leave us in control. Frankly, it can be scary. Rather than seeing it as being swept up in the arms of a loving parent and held close, it seems like the flood waters sweeping us away. So, it is safer to domesticate God, turn God into our buddy, shrink him down to our size to manageable proportions. We can even turn it all into a popular Top-40 song: “What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Just a stranger on the bus?” (words by Eric Bazillian, sung by Joan Osborne, 1995). While I liked the song and even sing along with it, I am deeply aware that God was indeed one of us and while He was right there on the bus, He was not a slob like one of us. Jesus did not come to merely try on humanity, or hang out with us. He came to show us the fullness of what humanity was intended to be. He came to save us from ourselves, and for Himself.
But so often we just cannot see that. But then vision is often a problem in the human condition. I can remember being in high school and really wanting one of my classmates to “really see me.” I just knew that if she really knew who I was, well heck, she would invite me to the prom. Now take that same kind of experience and blow it up to cosmological proportions. If we could just really see God, we would run to the “divine prom,” the perichoresis, (peri – around; chorea – dance) that divine dance of the Triune God in, with, and through all life, all being, all love.
It is indeed a Divine Mercy that God waits for us to simply realize who He is. He is Lord of all