Thursday, February 25, 2010

Adoro: Jesus, Take Me With You!

Jesus, Take Me With You!: "A few months ago, while praying during Mass, as I gazed upon the crucifix after Communion, I found myself asking Jesus to take me with Him. This is a variation of an old prayer from a few years ago, one of those things that spontaneously comes upon us, and we pray it even if we really don't understand what we are really asking in that moment.

This morning while meditating on the mysteries of the rosary, I suddenly understood, at least to some degree, of what I was asking that day, and as I continued to pray, it all began to make sense. As always, God's timing is impeccable.

Jesus answered my prayer long before I ever prayed it.

When Jesus went down into the Jordan river, He took on His mission, giving his formal fiat, taking us and the sins of the whole world upon His shoulders. His baptism is symbolic of his acceptance of death, through which we must all descend, and his rising from the waters points to the resurrection. As He took us with Him into the river, so, too must we die so that we can rise again with Jesus in the resurrection.

That means that when Jesus went into the Jordan to be Baptized....He took me with Him.

When Jesus preached His Sermon on the Mount, He was speaking directly to me and telling me not to live only according to the minimum requirements, but to go deeper, sacrifice more, and become more and more human.

When Jesus healed the lepers, restored the sight of the blind man, and exorcised demons, he tooke me with him in tow to show me that it's not actually about physical healing, but spiritual, and that's what He REALLY wants to offer. And so I went with Him into the Confessional so that I, too, could become a sign to the world of His mercy and forgiveness.

When Jesus broke bread and gave thanks, when He washed the feet of the Apostles, He brought me with Him there, too, to reveal the beginning of the Mass and the origins of the ordained Priesthood, so that not only would I recognize the fulfillment of the Covenant when he died on the Cross the next day, but I would recognize God's own authority in His ministers, and the ongoing presence of Christ in the Mass and in all the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist.

When Jesus prayed and wept in the Garden of Gethsemane, He took me with Him for He was not just weeping over my sin and those of the whole world, but He was fully entering into and taking on our own suffering so that He could weep WITH us and not just FOR us.

When Jesus went before Pilate, He took me with him so that I, too, could choose to either wash my hands and walk away, or instead, become docile to His love and become the Cross that He carried for my salvation.

When Jesus was scourged at the pillar, He took me with him so that I would know the selflessness of love and the sacrifice that restores true dignity.

When Jesus was crowned with thorns, He took me with Him so that in his degradation, I would be brought to my knees, desiring to offer mercy to Mercy Himself, reaching out to remove the thorns He wore to fulfill the punishment for sin, only to find them piercing my own hands, drawing my own blood, helping me to enter into the suffering of my Savior.

When Jesus walked the road to Calvary, He took me with Him upon His own back, and only fell because I did and the weight of my sin was so heavy he condescended to fall even lower than I so that I would not be lost forever.

When Jesus was nailed to the Cross, He took me with Him so that I would recognize the impact of sin not just on myself, but upon the world, for which He was willingly being sent to His innocent death.

When Jesus was lifted up on the Cross, He brought me with Him for He drew me into His embrace and gave me rest under the shadow of His wings, where I begged to remain, for I recognized the Cross as my only defense.

Yes, Jesus HAS taken me with Him, every bloody, painful, wretched, agonizing step of the way. In spite of my obstinance, in spite of my rebellion, in spite of my willful disobedience. He has taken me with Him and has not let me out of His sight, even when I tried to hide from Him.

The price He paid for my redemption was so great that He would not, could not, let me go. He chose instead to suffer in patience, knowing that my hardened and fickle heart could be softened, that His love could overcome my rebellion, and that one day, I might still have a chance to return to Him with all my heart, all my soul, and give Him my whole life.

He asks for nothing less. And I ask for nothing more.

Take me with you, Jesus. Always.