I don’t like eavesdropping but on my way back from Benalla last Sunday evening, I just couldn’t help but listen to a young man sitting right behind me on the coach. He was talking with someone over the phone about somebody close to him who is in the hospital. He said something that really caught my attention, and left me pondering. He said, ‘She is resting well in the hospital now. God is so good, you know. HE is not indifferent.’ After that, I said to myself, ‘This man must have a real relationship with God.’
It is really hard to know if our relationship with God is real or not. But I think, one way to know this is to look at the content of our personal prayers. Are we doing much of the talking? Or are we spending more time listening? Are we just asking God for favour? Or are we grateful to him for the favours received? What language are we using to address God? Is it LORD? MASTER? FRIEND? BROTHER? BEST FRIEND? or whatever… The language we use to address God tells us how we relate with our God.
Our Gospel today tells us of the God of Jesus. And for him God is his Father, a God who is not indifferent. A God who cares for us. Thus, Jesus can freely ask him, that we, his disciples might be one and holy, be protected from the evil one and that we continue to live in and by the truth. Even Jesus can relate to this God in a very casual way, when said, “I am not asking you to take them away from the world, but to make them victorious over evil in the world.” This is the God of Jesus, and he wants us experience this Father- God, this God who is not an indifferent God.
This leads us then to the core question: How real God is, in our lives?
Some of us might have a vending- machine God, wherein you just insert a coin [of good work], press the [reward] button, and you’ll get what you want. Some might have a waiter-God, you just make your order and he will serve it for you. Still some might have classroom- God, when you do much of the lecturing and God had to bear all the listening for hours even.
How real God is in us? The message today is that we relate to this God of Jesus Christ, HIS loving Father, who loves, cares, and protects his son, the God who has the power to build us up and who has given us the privilege of being part of his flock, as St Paul would say in our first reading today.
So as we spend the rest of today, let’s reflect on how real God is in our lives. Through this, we can say with confidence, ‘We have a real and living relationship with Him. He is so good, you know, he is not indifferent.’