Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thy will be done.

For fifty years my mother has said that her religion was Buddhist. She is now faced with making end of life decisions. When she was recently admitted into her care facility she was asked her religion. She said that she had always claimed she was Buddhist but she was raised Lutheran and was Lutheran deep down.  She light heartedly joked that she was a Buddhist Lutheran and took the best from each religion. We believe that at the time of death Jesus is his own advocate. I trust in the great mercy of God and hope that when my mother stands before the Lord he will burn away all her doubt and only her love for him will remain. This is why we pray for our sick, needy, and dead. The root of pray is love and love is never wasted with God. He will use our love as a conduit in which he can deliver grace. Like a beacon in the night, this grace is there to guide us home to his side.

My mother opened the door to me to minister to her. When she said that she was still Lutheran she let me know that she still had a desire to have a relationship with Jesus. The biggest thing she needed was a reintroduction to him. She is not Catholic so I will not have a priest come and anoint her. I wish to respect her faith at whatever level she has it. Instead, I went to the Lutheran church where I was raised and asked the pastor if she would visit with my mother. God will take it from there.

The Lutheran pastor I met with was a woman. She listened respectfully as I explained the family dynamic when it comes to religion. Catholic, Lutheran, fundamentalist, agnostic, Buddhist – we cover a large gambit of beliefs and it is hard to minister to all equally. She told me that she used to be Catholic but had to switch religions because the Catholic Church wouldn’t let her be a priest. She felt called to be a minister so the Lutheran church is where she wound up.

I have nothing but respect for this woman and am grateful to her for ministering to my mother at the time of her greatest need. There has been no greater time in history when the various Christian faiths have needed each other more. Christianity as a whole is under attack by the evil one more than ever before. It may be just what is needed to have us join into one universal Church once again.

Yet, something this woman said stuck in my head and continued to bother me. She was originally Catholic. She claimed to believe in a faith that states it has the fullness of truth. Later she would leave this faith for a faith that she used to believe did not have the fullness of truth solely because the Church would not allow her to do a particular function. If she were truly Catholic to begin with she would understand why she isn’t allowed to be a priest or she would seek to understand why. She is in good company. Martin Luther – father of the Lutheran church did the exact same thing.

How many Catholics leave the faith every year for the same reason? How many leave because they believe the Church won’t allow them to do something they feel they have the right to do? How many leave because the Church is wrong on this teaching or that teaching? How many leave because they believe they know better?

Then I heard the Lord’s Prayer over and over in my mind. More importantly I heard the petition “THY WILL BE DONE” emphasized. Every Christian religion on this planet will teach daily about how we are to imitate Jesus. Which part of Jesus’ life are we called to imitate? Are we to imitate the kind and gentle Jesus who never said an ill word and wouldn’t even kill a spider in the bathtub? Are we called to imitate the Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount and feed the poor? I kind of like the Jesus just starting in his ministry and turn water into wine. How popular would you be at a party? If we could only pick one part of Jesus’ life to imitate it would have to be Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night he was betrayed.

The Garden of Gethsemane

      “And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.

Luke 22, 39-46

This by far is the hardest Jesus to imitate. It requires us to put aside what we want, our desires, and do that which is pleasing to God. The dogma and Traditions of the Catholic Church are not there simply because a bunch of old white men wanted to maintain their power and status. Power and status are things that have been abused by some in the Church but the dogma and Traditions we have come from Jesus himself. Failure to understand why or accept it as truth is not justification to choose our own wills over God’s.

                Thy kingdom come,

                Thy will be done,

                Lead us not into temptation,

                But deliver us from evil.

Be a blessing to all you meet and allow them to be a blessing to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment