So I would try to come up with some witty introduction to interest you and hook you into my lesson of the day. But I'm just going to come right out and say it: I'm desperate.
Yup. That's right. I'm desperate. I'm desperate for Jesus.
Over the past year, I've truly come to realize how much I need Jesus. Especially recently, I've come to know how much I am not without Him. I don't like who I am without Jesus. Think about food. Do you every go a really long time without eating? Nothing can satisfy you but the food that will end your hunger. In the mean time, you get irritable, grouchy, emotional and impatient. The smallest thing can tick you off. If you're like me, you don't like who you are when you're in that state. But once you eat, you are totally satisfied. All of the moodiness goes away and you are back to yourself. Because of that food, you are happy again and you can continue with your day. That is me when it comes to Jesus. I'll have days, like today, where I fall from Him. I become distracted. I don't pray as much as I should. I don't depend on His grace to get me through the day. I try and get through the day on my own. I put Jesus on the back-burner and only go to Him when I need Him. In the mean time, I become super emotional, easily angered, insecure, doubtful, weak, and other things. I don't like who I am. But once I catch myself or go to mass and put things in prospective, I'm good to go. I get Jesus in me and then it's as if nothing can stop me. I am completely satisfied. Thing is, up until that point where I have my "aha" moment of the day, I look to other things to satisfy me throughout the day. Mainly, other people. Especially my boyfriend.
And friends, I'll admit, I hate that I do this. And sharing this with you makes me feel like I'm weak. But it's true and it's a part of me. I'm not perfect. I'll look to others to satisfy me. Take my boyfriend (Matt) for example. I will be the first to tell you that he is the most amazing guy that I have ever met. I have never met anyone like him and I have never been as close to someone as I am with him. I couldn't have asked God for a better boyfriend. He's incredibly sweet, gentle, and respectful. He loves Jesus and he leads me closer to Him. He'll randomly send me flowers, and some of the texts he sends me put the biggest smiles on my face. Simply put, he's awesome. And having him in my life has brought me so much joy. However, Matt is human. As am I. The love than a human can give is limited. Inevitably, we disappoint each other, annoy each other and sometimes even get the other mad (mostly I get him mad when we have debates and I just get carried away with playing devil's advocate :) ). Point is, neither of us are perfect. And because of this, it's completely unfair for me to expect him to satisfy me. No human being, as amazing as they are, can satisfy us the way Christ can.
We have God-shaped holes in our hearts and He is the only one who can fill it. We can try to look to people or things to truly satisfy us, but we will soon come to learn that that will never be enough for us. God is enough. I know this. So why to I go through days where I don't live like I know it? Well, because I'm not perfect and because I fall. But the amazing part is, that even though I fall, Jesus still loves me. I get distracted, go my own way, and sometimes think my plan is the better plan, and He stands there, patiently waiting for me and so madly in love with me. I don't deserve this. None of us do. But even while we don't deserve it, Jesus loves us to no end. He loves us so much that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8. How amazing is that? No matter what we do, how much we fall, or how much we get distracted, Christ will be by our side no matter what. Wow.
Now, don't take it as in "I can go do whatever I want without Jesus, party it up in the world of sin and He'll still love me no matter what!" It's true that He'll still love you. But we have to strive to have a relationship with Him and to grow closer to Him. Sin is simply defined as something that leads us away from God. We have to follow Christ.
God would have this be the Gospel for today, just because He likes to work in awesomely ironic ways.
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct. Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
This is what I'm striving to do. I need to deny myself and lose my life for the sake of Christ. And I going to be perfect and the best follower ever? No. I'm going to fall, mess up, get distracted over and over again. But I'm at peace and I find joy knowing that Jesus loves us no matter what. No matter what.