Daily Reflection
July 24th, 2001
Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Campus Ministry
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Exodus 14:21--15:1
Exodus 15:8-9, 10, 12, 17
Matthew 12:46-50

Jesus implies very simply that he does the will of God and proclaims that anyone else who does it is as closely related to him as can be.  That is of course something that we would all like to arrive at in our lives, doing the will of God as perfectly as Jesus does and being that close to him, but the fact is that we find that very difficult.

For one thing, just identifying the will of God is far from simple.  Many would disagree, saying that all you need to do is follow the Bible or live out the commandments, but that is a beginner's approach, especially in a world as complicated as ours is.  And, even worse, it is an approach that is likely to make a person a perfectionist, self-righteous, and judgemental as well as providing only a closed solution to maturity:  "If I can do this I will be perfect."  This is the approach of the Pharisees.

A more mature approach is more complicated, at least in appearance.  It begins with the training wheels of the commandments, is nurtured in prayer and reflections such as "What would Jesus do or say here?" and is perfected in a spirit of generosity and an almost charismatic discernment of the stirrings of the Spirit in our hearts.  The more that we can forget ourselves and our personal concerns and values, the more that we can concentrate on searching for God, the more that he will find us and draw us to himself.

This is not the work of even a few years, not even of a lifetime, but it is the beginning of our eternal life with God, when he will reveal that his will is that his children know that they are loved beyond all belief....

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