By Julie Lazanich
I have recently gone all Marie Kondo in my life. As soon as I got my hands on a copy of her Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I went through closets that had stuff in it that wasn’t even mine in it (sorry Mom) and dropped more carloads of stuff off at Goodwill than I’d like to admit.
Clear space, clear mind.
What’s good goes in buckets and what’s bad is thrown away.
What brought me joy got tucked away in pretty storage containers, displayed in frames, meticulously folded, lined up by order of size, or hung up on nice new all-matching velvet hangers. If I was deep-cleaning my life, I was going to do it perfectly.
But if I have to come clean, I think my OCD organizing was a result of inner turmoil. My anxiety and PTSD have been creeping back into my life more than I’d like to admit, causing me to do more doubting than believing lately.
My faith has flatlined. I can’t sit still in Church so I stopped going. I question everything I read or hear. And to be frank, I just don’t really care all that much.
The glory of God is the Human Person fully alive says St. Irenaeus. I’m breathing, but far from feeling fully alive.
I’m grateful for the communities in my life like The Living Person because I can admit that and I know I’m not alone.
So even if I sit quietly reading the Gospel full of doubt--I know that I’m at least here trying. And as I read, I find myself struggling with these "buckets" Jesus is talking about, because my lens for interpretation falls on the cynical side. Today’s Gospel parable seems to be a bit on Jesus’ judge-y side, who wants to instill fear in you so you get to be in Heaven one day where all the bad stuff in the world doesn’t exist.
And that’s hard hear when you’re trying to be close to Jesus. It’s hard to remember Jesus is love all the time, because here He is pointing out that there’s good and bad. No in between, no second chances. And what’s bad is going out with the trash. Yikes.
So I’d like to focus on the first half of the parable.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects every kind of fish.”
There’s no discrimination. There’s no judgement. Everyone gets hauled in. It doesn’t matter what exact beliefs you have at this moment. What you’re up against. What gender you are. What your political stances are. The list goes on and on.
It doesn’t matter. Because God is reeling you in.
So even though I may feel like a fish just flopping around, barely making it, in the ocean of God’s love, at least I know God is still going to catch me.
I might not be where I once was in my faith life and I may be a sinner... but God loves me despite that and that’s enough for me to hang on.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julie is a recent grad of John Carroll University and has just started a research position at Jones Day law firm downtown. Aside from working 9-5, she spends her time with those that make her laugh most, especially her almost one year old, Carter James. Julie enjoys making sure others know how much they're loved and is always trying to spread God's gift of joy around. This may often include wine, sunshine, tacos, hot dogs, and replays of Lebron's legendary Game 7 block.