All I Wanted Is To Be Good

October 18, 2009

Question of the Day//Richard Rohr

Whom or what do I need to include?

Jesus was consistently inclusive. And yet, I think most people’s estimation of most Christian denominations is that they are largely exclusionary institutions, who define themselves by who they are not, and what they do not agree with. One is never sure if they have actually found anything positive or loveable.

Even the Eucharist itself is used, at least in my Catholic Church, to define the worthy, the pure, and the true members. But every time Jesus eats, he seems to be eating with the wrong people, at the wrong table, or saying the wrong things, or not washing his hands ahead of time. By doing so, Jesus redid the social order and this upset both religion and state. That we would forget such a message and make the Eucharist itself some kind of measuring of worthiness or understanding (who really understands?) is pretty much turning Jesus on his head. Apparently, he changed most of his lived policies after the resurrection.

I haven’t posted on this kind of Thing in a while. For my closest friends, they know I’ve kind of wandered around in imaginary places where no one chooses sides, no one has a destination pre-destined, where love is much louder than fear or hate. I don’t say this as if these things aren’t possible… I just say it because what I imagine isn’t always bridled with reality or tested in any way. But, I don’t apologize for wanting these things to be true. I think its the sum of who I am that longs for these things to be true somehow. The same person who from the age of 14 got her first teen bible and basically carried it around like her purse… to the person who 11 years later [WHAT?], isn’t exactly sure where her Bible[s] is/are. I still want these things to be true, I think everything I’ve ever learned has brought me to this place of a longing for inclusivity.

Oh, yes, there is one of my bibles right there in the corner of my room.

I love the paradox of Jesus. I love the confusion he brought to the culture He was within. I love the ability He had to pierce directly through the questions a person voiced to the interior battle people thought they were hiding pretty darn well from everyone around them… even from themselves.

I love that even today, the example of Jesus is one people still can’t quite articulate. Maybe its my love of the in-between, not looking for what’s wrong or right, the side to place myself upon. I love how He did it and how no one can completely claim they’ve systematized Jesus’ words and life into the correct theological orthodoxy. [I didn’t say people haven’t tried to claim this… but I won’t go there.]

Loving things about Him isn’t necessarily the same as loving Him, is it? I know I’ve loved Him. But over the past few years I think my love has changed its form. I don’t really know what to do with this and I am not quite sure why I am sharing this, but its where I find myself right now… feeling like I am doing a lot of the “wrong things.”

Richard Rohr will always be someone who, like Jesus, breaks through the exterior to make you look at what’s really going on. Because something else always is.


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