Thursday, April 13, 2006
Playing Baseball with Jesus, Holy Thursday and Friendship
Tonight alot of things begin. Tonight there is the institution of the priesthood and the Lord's Supper. To me there is something else, something I have always thought about deeply.
I think about Jesus sitting down at the beginning of the last supper. I picture a moment of infinite sadness in His eyes. The sadness is not for what is about to happen. It is not for the sacrifice, the betrayal or anything in the next few days. These things come to their apex later tonight in the garden.
As He sits down, He looks at His friends. He knows that the next time He sees them all; He will be glorified by the Father. He will be in His Risen form. And for a moment, I think, He grieves for the state of His friendship with the apostles.
He is about to break down the wall that divides us from God. But human beings will erect a different wall. His friends will find it difficult at first to remember that: Yes, this is their savior and Lord...but He is their friend.
As humans we have problems thinking that someone will be our friend if they are greater than us. But Christ, so very great, is our friend and our God. He is the man who laughed with them for three years and part of the eternal Trinity. And He gives us the dignity of His friendship and love.
This can be difficult. To keep Christ as our Lord and give Him the infinite respect He deserves, but also to be our friend.
And Christ knew. He knew that His glory may overpower their friendship. At the Transfiguration He let Peter, James and John glimpse the glory: And they were overwhelmed. They will get over it. They will learn the unity of God's glory an His loving friendship...but there will be a moment where it is difficult. And our Lord is sad for them.
He speaks during the Last Supper many times of them as His friends. He prays for us, we the faithful to come. He drives home the point that He wants to be our Lord and our friend. He washes their feet so they will serve each other. He talk about giving your life for your friend, as he is about to give His life for them, and the friends to come.
This brings me to the playing baseball with Jesus part of the post title. When my mother died I was ten. I started to play baseball with Jesus.
I would go outside to the stone wall of my grandmother’s house and throw the ball off the wall and catch it. But to me, Jesus was catching it and throwing it back. And I'd pray, I'd talk to my friend.
I'd ask Him how my mom was. I would ask Him how His mom was. I would ask that she show my mom around heaven. I'd talk about tests at school, about what my sister had done recently, about how sad gram was, about why the Yankess couldn't get a good pitching staff, about what I wanted to do with my life.
We would play catch. He was my friend. Just like my other friends, only more reliable. He never threw a ball I couldn't catch, even if I had to try hard to do it. He never missed a ball I threw...ever. And though my knowledge of God and theology has deepened, what I just wrote has always stayed with me.
But always, He was my God. Not diminished in Glory for a second.
When we are children, there is no contradiction over such things. Our pride does not get in the way yet.
Lord, may we always be able to understand that you are our Lord and our friend. May our pride never get in the way of understanding your Glory. May our pride never get in the way of understanding that you are our friend. Let me embrace the knowledge that is a contradiction to the human mind: That You, the eternal and everlasting God...cares about the latest book I've read, and You want to talk to me about that and my eternal soul. You have made us. You have called us. You are always ready with a glove, to play catch.
Posted by DavidNic at 11:44 AM