Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Other-centered living versus narcissistic living. On Monday we spoke of the “spiritual paganism” that affects each of our hearts. The traces of Original Sin within us lead us to judge all reality in its relation to ourselves and our own concerns instead of seeking the ultimate truth in all matters. Over time, this spiritual paganism solidifies within us, making us—in the words of Pope Francis—‘corrupt,’ or impervious to the Word of God.
In today’s gospel, Jesus presents us with an alternate view of reality. His very being is other-centered. Jesus “cannot do anything on his own.” He says “I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.” From all eternity, the identity of the Son is tied up in his relationship to the Father. And the basis of this relationship is love. “The Father loves the Son.”
Those of us who fall prey to spiritual paganism will inevitably end up alone. The most challenging part of life is not so much that we don’t receive what we seek. It’s rather that we receive exactly what we seek. If we seek a world that revolves around us, we will receive it. But unfortunately, we will come to find that that world has no room in it for any living and real persons but ourselves.
Jesus, on the other hand, inhabits a world that is alive with activity and community. This is a world of love and it is a pleasure to dwell there.