It’s all about Jesus. Do you believe he is the Son of God or not? Do you believe he is who he says he is? If you do, it seems like we are not to question him. But I question him often. To be clear, I do not ask if he is Jesus, the Son of the Father; rather, I ask him those questions that come at me in my daily life. Why is it difficult to do the right thing? Why must I sacrifice, again, for the good of others? When will the mercy you give so generously be easy to give to others? Those are some of my questions. What are the questions you ask of Jesus?

In the first reading, those who believe are urged to hold fast to prayer and the mercy of Jesus, who is our salvation. He alone will keep us from stumbling and one day present us “unblemished and exultant” to God. I like the word exultant – great joy; I want great joy. Not only in heaven but here and now in my ordinary life. I want to be exultant. Can you imagine how attractive we would be as followers of Christ, as evangelizers, if we were exultant people? 

Sadly, we are often waiting for life to be perfect or almost perfect before we give ourselves permission to be exultant. Can we reconsider that stance? We are reminded to keep ourselves “in the love of God,” and I think keeping ourselves there will help us with our attitude toward life and joyfulness.

Imagine if those in the Gospel who were questioning Jesus were more concerned with joy than with being right. They lost out on knowing Jesus and all that he had for them because of what? The Gospel says, “fear of the crowd,” but what did that mean? Was it pride or a desire for control? We can think we know the answer, but in the end, does that help us?

Not really. What would help us is to answer this question for ourselves: by whose authority did Jesus act and live and move as he did? The Father. And Jesus, along with the Holy Spirit and the Father, are all still moving in this world. They move with us, for us, and through us. And this is why we can be exultant!

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