A line from the Alleluia verse of last Sunday’s Mass held my attention all week. “LET ME LIVE IN YOU says the Lord” and then while still pondering on these words, to-day’s first Reading had an answering cry, stark and clear   “COULD ANYONE REFUSE”  Jesus the Divine Beggar pleading with you and with me -“let me live in you.” 

Can we refuse Him?  In Mary we have a perfect example of one who when the Angel Gabriel came to her with a wondrous message from God, which at first greatly troubled her, asked: “How can this be done?” and on receiving an explanation simply said “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your Word.”   (Lk.1)   In the Old testament we hear  Abraham,  Moses  and the prophet Isaiah replying in similar fashion when God seems to be making impossible demands “here I am Lord  send me.”   Jesus  also, frequently  asked his followers in various ways “let me live in you.”  Remember his talk with the Samaritan woman  “give me a drink” (Jn.4.7) and later in the Apocalypse makes a similar request: “behold I stand at  the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens to me I will come to him and eat with him and he with me.”  And again in Mt11 Jesus pleads with us to shoulder his yoke and learn from him of the wonder and joy and peace of total surrender to his will for each of us.  There are many other moments when Jesus pleads with us, and never more eloquently than when he is hanging on the Cross arms outstretched, struggling to find a breath to whisper “I THIRST” – Can anyone refuse —even the hardened Roman centurion  does not hesitate to hold a drink to Jesus’ parched  lips.  We know the reply Dan Shutte made in his song Here I am Lord,  is it I Lord?  I have heard you calling in the night – I will go Lord if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart”

And so to-day we can make the prayer of an English Dominican Bede Jarrett our own:

May He that is our Teacher, our Friend, our Lover, do His work with us in His own blessed way. May He teach us obedience through what He suffered – He that is our Friend may He help us to go the way He would have us go because we are His friends! May He that is our Lover burn us and cleanse us with the flames of His love, for we are poor and small in our souls, yet we wish to be more than that, He will help us but don’t cry out at the way He deals with you. If you love, you must trust, and if you trust all is well. Lifting us, teaching us, helping us, loving us, may He still for all our failure look for beauty in the heart of pain. His final request “WAIT HERE AND KEEP AWAKE WITH ME”

Father if it is possible let this cup pass. Nevertheless let it be as you, not I would have it.

Behold the handmaid of the lord be it done to me according to your Word.