This is, Indeed, the Savior of the World

Feast of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“This is, indeed, the Savior of the World”  (Jn 4:42 (RSV))

“What does it mean to add to such faith genuflections, bows, prostrations, or any manner of exterior adoration expect to pay outward witness to what is in our heart?”  (Note 1)

“It is then with good reason that we join the exterior to the interior adoration of the Eucharist, that is, that we join sign to sentiment and testimony to faith.” (Note 2)

The [woman meeting Jesus at the well] reinforces the idea, recurrent in scripture, that splendid events to interest the daily routine — at the well, not the synagogue; in the office, not the church; in the kitchen, not the temple.  It’s good news that supposedly ‘unhallowed’ ground is sacred.” (Note 3)

“And we know that this is indeed the savior of the world.”  (Jn 4:42 (RSV))

“…because the soul, once it is lighted up with the divine fire, in no way looks to earthly values and standards, cares neither for its own glory nor its shame, but only for that flame which holds and consumes it.”  (Note 4)

“Only God can make you happy.”  “Human will always fail you, God will not.”  (Note 5)

I had thoughts on this, fleeting, as my memory has become of late, but I can say I remember back so many years ago when I thought the best thing I could do with my life was to become a Saint — and I don’t remember where that thought went and how / why I strayed from it, but I did.  i need to reclaim it for myself, for Joya — grant me that Grace, Father.

I remember sitting on the quarterdeck standing watch in Newport News at the administration building for the PCU John C. Stennis.  My work center supervisor was the Officer of the Deck and I was the Petty Officer of the Watch.  We were talking, I don’t remember exactly what about, but it ventured into life and how we lived it what we were doing etc.  I don’t remember what I was saying, other than my work center supervisor just said, his voice dripping with incredulity, “You want to be a saint.”  I had never thought of it until he verbalized it,  Now I realize that it is what we should all should be striving for — a saint is just someone who is in heaven.

Jesus was offering the Samaritan woman happiness — a happiness that can only come from God, because God, Jesus, is suffused throughout your being.  I talked about it earlier in the sort of beatific vision (lower case, not THE), and how if we have that vision, that happiness of God in us, we wouldn’t worry about anything, couldn’t worry about anything because the love of God that permeates our being is incomparable to anything we could ever experience in this life, so nothin in this life could take its place, surpass it, or even make us want the trappings of this life over the life that God has waiting for us.  Granted, we all fall short, but the important thing is to keep going, to keep picking ourselves up when we fail, asking for forgiveness and being truly repentant, and then continuation on towards THE Beatific Vision.

At mass today, Fr. Peter, as I quoted, said, “only God can make you happy.”  It reminded me of my philosophy undergrad classes when we spoke of eudaemonia — the good life, or, from the Greek, having a good spirit following you.  I was thinking that good spirit that follows you is the Holy Spirit — and the goodness he brings you is the happiness of God.  We receive his graces as the water that quenches the eternal thirst, the water Jesus promised to the Samaritan woman — the water of Happiness that comes from God … and is God.

—————————-

Notes:

1.  Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, Meditations for Lent, trans. Christopher O. Blum (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2013), 74.

2.  Bossuet, Meditations, 75.

3.  Kathy Coffey, “God’s Surprising Presence”.  In Renewing Our Discipleship, Daily Reflections on the 2017 Lenten Readings for Mass, ed. Steve Mueller (St Louis, MO: All Saints Press, 2017), 19.

4.  Saint Thomas Aquinas, “The Conversion of the Woman at the Well”.  Magnificat, Vol. 18, No. 13 (2017), 290-291.

5.  Fr. Peter’s Homily, 19 March 2017, 0830 Mass, Resurrection Catholic Church, Jacksonville, FL.

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3 thoughts on “This is, Indeed, the Savior of the World

  1. I have conflicting thoughts about this, none of which will I probably communicate clearly. It was stated that “only God can make you happy”, and you also talk about wanting to be saintly. I do agree that only God will never fail you, he is perfect, we are not. To me, to be saintly is to look forward to what God offers us in the afterlife. However, I think God intends to make us happy in this life. He put us on the Earth for a reason. He gave us this unbelievably beautiful world to make us happy. He gave us each other to make us happy. I guess my point in all this blabbering, which may be way off topic is, it’s great to want to live saintly and look forward to the life to come, but live in the moment. Take happiness in what God gives us all here.

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    • I think you misunderstand. God does want us to be happy here, and it is in our happiness here that we become saints. Yes, the saints do look forward to the happiness of the world to come, but they are also looking forward to happiness in the here and now. But, that happiness can only come from God. It’s not God telling us that we can only be happy in the after life and we must suffer (though the post for 3/20 will be about suffering), he’s telling us that if we truly want to be happy, only he can make us happy. When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, he was essentially telling her, look, you’ve had five husbands, you’re working on your 6th, and then you’ll work on your 7th because you’re seeking happiness in all the wrong places. If you seek God and trust in him and let him suffuse your being, he will give you happiness, and you won’t have to look for husband number 6, 7, 8…. God does want us to be happy in the temporal realm, but that happiness can only come from him. And when we have happiness from him in this life, we’ll have happiness in the aeveternity, too. And that makes us saints. Don’t think of the saints as these stodgy, uptight characters who suffer greatly all the time, enduring hardships that would make a normal person cringe in utter horror. That is not what a saint is — though there are saints who have done that. A saint, by definition, is anyone who has made it to heaven. If we believe in God and have his happiness in this life, we will have his happiness in the next. And He wants us to be happy in both.

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  2. My point wasn’t that I thought God doesn’t want us to be happy here. In fact, I said he does. My point was all about the stodgy, uptight characters. Paul comes to mind. But then again, everyone at that time thought Christ was coming back in their lifetime. My point is basically everything in moderation. One can strive to be saintly, but should live life to the fullest. If someone wants to seclude themselves in a monastery, more power to them, but (just my opinion) they’re missing out on what this life and this world, which God created for them, has to offer.

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