Jesus’ teachings were radical 2000 years ago, and would still be categorized as “radical” today. Turn the other cheek. Love your enemies. Bless those who curse you. Put God above all else in your life. I mean really above all else! Trust in God to be your sole provider. Take up your cross and follow me. Rejoice when you are persecuted. Serve. Be humble. The greatest will be the least. The last first – the first last…
Christ’s love for us is radical as well. He humbled Himself to share in our humanity, and entered the world as that tiny, poor baby in the cold stable. He experienced our humanity to elevate it. He could have taken the easy road or the short cut, but He didn’t. He experienced hunger, sadness, boredom, frustration, temptation, humiliation – all of the things that plague our humanity, only He handled all without sin. He loved us so much that He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice – His torturous death on the cross.
Before His death, He even made provisions for remaining intimate with His loved ones following His ascension. He instituted the Eucharist – His own flesh and blood that we are so privileged to take within us, despite our unworthiness. What King do you know who would wash feet, serve the poor, heal the sick, give His life for His people and feed them with His own flesh and blood? Jesus’ love is radical. He calls us to radical love as well
In Mathew’s gospel, Jesus commands us:
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
What is holding you back from jumping in full force – feet first? Don’t you believe that God loves you personally with a radical love? Don’t you know that the Good Shepherd would go to the ends of the earth to find you if you were lost? (John 10) Can’t the God who knew you before He formed you in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5) and loved you into being be trusted with all of the tiny details of your life? Do you recall that He has numbered each hair on your head? (Matthew 10:30) As Saint John Paul II said over and over again, “BE NOT AFRAID!” Step out of the boat onto the water! Keep your eyes focused on Jesus. Don’t look down! Just keep stepping confidently forward toward Him. He will guide your path. If you have a momentary lapse in faith, stretch out your hand, and call to Him, as did St. Peter, and He will catch you! (Matthew 14:28)
We live in desperate times, and desperate times call for RADICAL measures. Now is the time to be counter-cultural, to live as simply as we possibly can, to be beacons of light and signs of hope to others and to trust in the Lord with all our hearts! (Proverbs 3:5) Jump! What are you waiting for?
Two “Radical” prayers that I pray often:
by St. Ignatius of Loyola
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
by Cardinal Mercier
O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do; give me Your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that You permit to happen to me. Let me only know Your Will.
My Own Little prayers from the Heart:
Jesus, I love you. Take all that I have and all that I am. Use me to do Your Will. Amen.
Jesus, please keep my family always close to one another and to Your Most Sacred Heart. Lord Jesus, I trust in you!