The following edited talk was given by Deacon Lloyd Duplantis at a recent Cursillo.
When Psychologist C. Scott Peck finished his manuscript of his modern classic, “The Road Less Traveled” in 1977, he decided to give himself a special vacation. Although he wasn’t a Christian or even a Church-goer, he decided to go on a Monastic Retreat. While there, the monks suggested that he read the Gospels.
After hemming and hawing a bit, he decided to go along with their request. What happened to him changed the entire course of his life: He met Jesus. He had thought that he knew all about Jesus. He had listened to many people talk about Jesus and read all about Christianity; he had a fixed conception of who Jesus was … until he read the Gospels chapter after chapter for himself. He discovered that Jesus was far more real than he had ever expected.
This was a personality so unique and surprising, and yet so fully integrated, that no one could have possibly made this up. The way Jesus would get so disappointed with the 12, repeatedly pleading with them: “Don’t you get it? What more do I have to do?”
Jesus’ words and actions shocked Peck! Yet he also fell in love with him, and is devoting the rest of his life to helping others see that the Jesus they think they know might not be the real Jesus at all!
One Biblical name for Jesus is a Stumbling Block. His own people stumbled on him from both directions. They were looking for one sent by God, but Jesus didn’t fit the bill. He was too lowly for them – a carpenter’s Son from the back hills of Galilee, a friend of fishermen, publicans and prostitutes!
He was also too great for them. He would say things like, “I and the Father are One … He who has seen me has seen the Father also.”
They wanted to kill him.
If only he had been from a wealthy family, if he had gone to the right finishing schools and prestigious universities! Yet Jesus not only was born in a barn, He built barns! His hands were calloused from work, building tables, and chairs, houses and yokes. He didn’t hesitate to fall to his knees to wash his disciples’ dusty feet.
When Jesus spoke, he never tried to impress anyone with big words. He avoided all the attributes of greatness. When he did ride into Jerusalem in triumph, he did it on a donkey, not a war horse surrounded by secret service agents! He never made a fuss about himself, so why should anyone else?
Yet, strangely, whenever Jesus spoke, you had to stop and listen! There was an authority in his voice that no amount of titles and degrees could have conferred. The most common word in Mark’s Gospel is “astonished.”
He continually surprised people.
He is totally like us and yet also totally unlike us! He is Son of God, but also Son of Man. He gets hungry and thirsty, and knows what it is to be dead tired. He loved to laugh, yet also looked to friends to share his times of grief! In fact, he was more a human being, content to live as God’s creation, than we are! We look to him not only to see who God is, but to see who we are meant to be!
Jesus could enter into and enjoy his Father’s creation more than any of us! He could see more grace in sunsets, birds and flowers than anyone else! He was content with the limitations of being a creature, trusting God for every breath of air, for companionship, food and clothing. He needed no mask; he was free to be himself.
(Continued next week.)
Posted on Fri, October 14, 2016
by The Lafourche Gazette