The Promise is to You

Intimacy with God: The Key to Everything

I used to wonder why Jesus never sat down with his disciples to systematically explain all the truths in Scripture and Tradition. Wouldn’t that have prevented a lot of confusion, false teachings and schisms over the centuries? Certainly he explained enough for our salvation, but over the past 2000 years countless arguments over what is authentically true have led masses of people to turn away. This begs the questions: Why didn’t Jesus do so? What was more important?

In the Gospels, Jesus is almost always described as being with people. “Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness” (Mt 9:35). When he wasn’t with the crowds, he was with the twelve apostles or making personal visits, for instance to Peter’s mother-in-law or to Martha, Mary and Lazarus. On a few occasions he would go away to pray alone, but most of his time was spent with people.

From a literary perspective, it makes sense that the Gospel writers wrote primarily about Jesus being with people. That is how the writers would have come to know him and that is how most of his teachings were given. However, Jesus could have chosen to be a hermit in the desert, giving teachings to his apostles to spread. His decision to spend his time with people was deliberate.

Jesus’ decision makes sense in the light of the greatest commandment: “‘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” (Mt 22:37-38).

Love. It’s the one thing every person is able to do, no matter how intelligent, how young or old, healthy or sick, rich or poor, and no matter what state in life. And love means relationship. Without a relationship there is no lover or beloved, so Jesus spent his time building relationships. He wanted people not only to know about him, but to personally know him and love him.

Jesus’ teachings, then, were all about love. “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (Jn 15:10-11).

This is why he sent us the Holy Spirit – the love of God himself. Without him we can do nothing. With him all things are possible. What is more, God not only wants us to live in his love, he wants to live in us!

Love, by its nature, is not satisfied with only seeing its beloved only once a week at Mass, nor with being read about in a book. Love desires complete union. So God desires complete union with us.

Jesus confirmed this by his death. He gave us his whole self – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – both on the cross and in the Eucharist, which is his sacrifice made present to us today. “‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood’” (Lk 22:19-20).

He comes to us each day in the Mass. His Spirit abides in us at every moment. He who is Love desires us more passionately than the most passionate earthly spouse. He loves us more purely, more perfectly, more powerfully, and more tenderly than we can imagine.

Everything that Jesus said and did was to draw us into intimate union with him, both now and for eternity. In the end, that is all that will matter.

Lifeteen Monstrance

Related blogs: 
A Simple Way to Grow in Intimacy with God

Recognizing the Lord’s Voice

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