Let’s talk about God

What did Jesus look like?

A popular blogger who goes by the handle See, there’s this thing called biology…’ raised the subject of how we mortals picture Jesus and/or God:

‘Rather than Jesus as a socialist hippy,’ she wrote, ‘some people grew up with a perception of Him as a mean grandfather, a judgmental old man with a long grey beard sitting up on high and looking down on us with disgust. That is an equally sad caricature that often serves to separate one from Jesus.’

To which I replied: ‘A more important question than what God or Jesus look or looked like is where the hell are they? Jesus appeared briefly 2,000 years ago claiming to be the son of God, and God has never been seen or heard from, except in fervent imaginations.’

Her reply: ‘Well, God is spirit. Then we have His written word which also speaks to us. When Jesus went away He promised to leave us with the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. He definitely makes His presence known to many of us. I think many people expect God to be more like an invading army that shows up to rescue us from ourselves, or perhaps the Big Guy who has all the bail money and can get us out.’

My rely: ‘The bottom line then is whether one believes in “His written word” (written by others many years removed of course but that’s another matter), and for those who do believe, I envy them, but for those who don’t but would like to, I don’t hold out much hope. Personally, amid the deaths of every person I ever loved, and my many prayers for help, I have never felt the slightest sensation or hint of “His presence” — the final injury: total abandonment and isolation.’

Her reply: ‘That is very sad. I am so sorry for your losses. Death, deep grief, just the struggles of life itself, can be very painful. “Feeling His presence” is different for each person, it’s not always dramatic like Charlton Heston playing Moses and parting the Red Sea. Sometimes it is just a quiet whisper in your soul or a sudden revelation while reading scripture. Some people can sense Him out in nature or when watching a sunset. Faith can be a difficult thing to describe, because we have to place our trust in something we can’t yet see clearly. Hebrews 11:1 says, “now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It’s not rational, it’s a leap of faith, but it really does have a tangible substance. I don’t believe God wants any of us to be alone and abandoned. He laid down His very life to prevent it.’

My reply: ‘Well, not to feel sorry for myself, but he sure as hell abandoned me, and I have never had a “quiet whisper” or a “sudden revelation” to feel otherwise. I would give anything to feel otherwise, but it is what it is.’

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3 comments

  • This is on point!!!

    Seeking a Sign
    July 18, 2022
    Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
    Readings for Today

    “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.” Matthew 12:38-39
    ……
    Jonah was the sign. He spent three days and nights in the belly of a whale. He certainly was presumed dead by those who threw him over the side of the boat. But the whale acted as an instrument of God’s will in that it brought Jonah to Nineveh to preach repentance. And they did repent and change their lives! The darkness of the belly of the whale, in the end, became a blessing and a sign for ages to come.

    Fast forward from the story of Jonah to the story above when the followers of Jesus seek a sign from Him. They want some sort of “proof” of who He is. Or perhaps they are just curious and want to be “entertained” by a miracle. Whatever the case may be, Jesus makes it clear that the sign He will give is the sign of Jonah.

    Clearly, the story of Jonah is a prefiguration of the death of Jesus, His three days in the tomb and His Resurrection. This is the sign that Jesus will offer and the sign that He continues to offer. It’s a sign of great hope when we perceive it properly.

    However, very often we can fall into the same temptation as the followers of Jesus in the story above. Very often we also want a sign other than the signs Jesus gave us. We want some other proof from God of His will. We want Him to speak loudly and clearly. But that doesn’t always happen. More often what we experience is what appears to be silence from God. We may wonder, “Lord, where are You? Why don’t You speak to me?” But Jesus will speak to us in the same way. He will gently remind us of His life, death and Resurrection. He will remind us that we must believe in all that He has spoken, and even if we feel like we are in the belly of a whale or dead in a tomb, hope is not lost. God is present in all things and He is active and present to us even when He seems to be silent.

    Reflect, today, upon how strong your faith is even though you may not get the sign from Heaven that you may want. You must be reminded that the Father spoke to you clearly through the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus and this is the way He continues to speak to you today. Listen to that lesson and embrace the truths it proclaims. Even if you feel like you are in a tomb or God is silent, know He is not. He is speaking to you all the time. You just need to discern His voice.

    Lord of holy silence, help me to believe in You even though I do not see miracles or signs from Heaven. Help me to believe in You despite any doubts or weaknesses I have in life. Give me a firm faith to answer Your call in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.

    ….

    I guess you can’t always get what you want
    But if you try sometime you’ll find
    You get what you need!

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