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‘WHY CAN’T IT ALWAYS BE SO GOOD?’ (Jn 5:17-30): 05 March 2008 (Wednesday)

‘WHY CAN’T IT ALWAYS BE SO GOOD?’ (Jn 5:17-30):  05 March 2008 (Wednesday)

Today’s Readings

One of the first hits of the band Lighthouse Family is “Lost in Space”–an obvious love song where the singer typically  waxes poetry about his beloved.  I don’t know if it’s some of the lines in the song (“How will I ever get to Heaven without you?”) or the title of the album (“Postcards from Heaven”) or even the music video (which features the giant statue of Christ, arms outstretched over Sao Paolo), but for some reason, I’ve always attached a religious or spiritual meaning to this song.

There are two things that strike me about the song “Lost in Space.”  On the one hand, it expresses the singular importance that the singer attaches to his beloved:  His beloved is the “one thing that keeps (him) smiling.”  The beloved is his “first star,” without whom he will be “lost in space.”  But at the same time, the person he sings about isn’t always accessible, but apparently only once in a while.  At a certain point he even asks, “Why can’t it always be so good?”

This makes me suspect that beyond being just another love song, it could well be a prayer addressed to God because while we hold God as the most important being in our life, we also know that although we believe that he is always with us, we cannot always sense his presence.  Like the singer in the song, we too can complain:  “Why can’t it always be so good?”

But more than all that, there is a special intimacy in the relationship expressed in the song that leads me to interpet it not only as a possible prayer that we can say to God, but as specifically the song of Christ to his Father.  In the gospel reading today, the Lord gets into trouble precisely because he calls God his Father–something totally unheard of and unacceptable for the Jews, who emphasized God’s transcendence.  So when the Lord refers to God as his Father (“Abba” in Aramaic, which means “Dad”), the Jews are scandalized because he has made himself equal to God.

We Christians of course take this for granted, not realizing what a revolutionary revelation it was during the time of our Lord.  In fact, we take it so much for granted that we fail to appreciate the special relationship that our Lord must have had with God the Father.  Of course we can’t know for sure, but we can use our faith as well as our imagination:  What kind of relationship did our Lord enjoy with his father?  It’s certainly worth thinking about since we are invited to build the same relationship with God.

I think this applies to our Lord’s relationship with the Father.  For our Lord, the Father is the reason for his life, and every moment of his life is spent precisely to do the Father’s Will.  But at the same time, his divinity notwithstanding, because he is also totally human, our Lord does not always seem to feel the Father’s presence during his earthly life.  In fact, as we shall see during Holy Week, the most painful part of our Lord’s passion is not physical, but spiritual precisely because he will feel the Father’s absence in a most terrible way at a time when he most needs to feel him close to him.

It might be worthwhile for us today to listen to the song “Lost in Space” of Lighthouse Family, and to use our faith–and our imagination–to appreciate the kind of intimacy that the Son usually enjoys with the Father.  Let our prayer today be that the Lord grants us the grace to enter into the same relationship with God.  It is, come to think of it, an appropriate grace to pray for as we prepare for Holy Week.

Here’s a Quick Question for you:  “Do you remember a time when you felt an extraordinary sense of God’s presence and nearness in your life?”  As we know, such moments are not common, so it helps to savor and remember these memories so they can sustain us during the more common experience of dryness.

(image:  Lighthouse Family’s “Postcards from Heaven”)

Note:  I’ve uploaded the music video of “Lost in Space” by Lighthouse Family in case you want to watch it.  Here are the lyrics.

LOST IN SPACE

Sometimes I get tired of this “me first” attitude.
You are the one thing that keeps me smiling.
That’s why I’m always wishing hard for you.
Cause your light shines so bright
I don’t feel no solitude
You are my first star at night
I’d be lost in space without you

And I’d never lose my faith in you
How will I ever get to Heaven, if I do…

It feels just so fine when we touch the sky, me and you.
This is my idea of heaven why can’t it always be so good.
But it’s alright,
I know you’re out there, doing what you gotta do.
You are my soul satellite
I’d be lost in space without you.

And I’d never lose my faith in you
How will I ever get to Heaven, if I do…

And I’d never lose my faith in you
How will I ever get to Heaven, if I do…

One reply on “‘WHY CAN’T IT ALWAYS BE SO GOOD?’ (Jn 5:17-30): 05 March 2008 (Wednesday)”

just got your book yesterday while we were at mary the queen for the good friday lecture of Fr. javy alpasa. saw this article and searched for you at FB and here.. i think i will be a regular fan..my cousin Celine Borja Mangubat also bought the book. she said you were her son’s teacher. Her son is enzo.

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