There’s a big difference between walking into your living room and greeting one of your closest friends and walking into a banquet hall where some big shot is being feted. In the first case I’m comfortable, giving my friend a holy hug, offering a glass of wine, picking up our conversation from the last time we were together…really wonderful. In the second case I’m not at ease, I may not know anyone, I can feel very much out of place…hmmmmm, can’t wait to get this over with.
I like to be comfortable…. I like to see and greet people I know and get along well with…a good friend… someone who I can banter with. I sometimes wonder how we can be comfortable relating to Jesus, as fully God and as fully man. Hmmmmmm.
Think of St. John…. how did he do it? Scripture tells many stories of John’s close and affectionate relationship with Jesus as he walked the earth. John, the disciple who Jesus “loved”, was always at his side; at the Last Supper, he was the one “lying close to the breast of Jesus”.(John 13:23) John was at the crucifixion, where Jesus told him to take care of his mother….. ”son behold your mother, mother behold your son.” (John 19:25-26) John was very close and perhaps even “comfortable” with Jesus as he walked the earth.
Yet we see a different story when John saw Jesus as described in the Book of Revelation. John was overwhelmed by his presence…he didn’t go and put his head on his shoulder, or chat about the old days, he fell at his feet as though dead. Jesus was clearly God. “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last.” (Rev. 1:17)
I can find myself caught in between the two natures of Jesus at times. I can become comfortable talking with him at times, sharing my joys and sorrows, asking for his help in my times of need…maybe even laughing with him about life. Yet at other times, I realize that Jesus is also the immortal God and I need to relate to him as John did and “fall at his feet as though dead”. There’s no funny business at this time. I’m in the presence of the creator of the universe.
Well, what am I to do? In all situations he is both true God and true man. One nature gets camouflaged at times because of our limitations, yet he is always both. I’ve wondered what it would have been like to look into the eyes of the Lord as he walked the earth. What have those eyes seen…. he told his disciples, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:18) He may have looked like every other person walking the face of the earth, but he wasn’t…. those eyes must have been a give away. “He gazed with love on the rich young ruler” (Mark 10:21) What was that like?
Well, I think we will need some adjustments when we see the Lord face to face one day. I think we will recognize him and be in awe of his greatness. Maybe St. John will be there to help walk us thru the transition. Something to think about. Yet we should not have any anxiety, because God loves us and it will be a great transition…. and we will come to be “comfortable” * in the presence of the Lord”, and all will be well with our soul.
- “Comfortable” in the best sense of the word.