Jesus came to give us abundant life. Hmmm…..
So for any of us who feel that our life is less than abundant, what does that mean?
First, I believe it means we are not thinking the way Jesus is thinking. Jesus’ definition of abundance does not mean overflowing wealth, superior health, a bounty of relationships or simply lots of cool stuff. That is the human way of thinking. So if it is not that, what does abundance mean in the Jesus’ way?
Jesus also said in this Sunday’s gospel (John 10:1-10), “I am the gate.”
Is Jesus being a gatekeeper?! Is he monitoring who gets access to this abundant life?!
The short answer is “no”. (That is the long answer too!)
The Jesus way is paved with mercy, forgiveness, love and justice. Jesus knows those are not necessarily the way of the world. Those are the gifts of Jesus’ abundance.
"I came that [you] may have life abundantly.
I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture."
There is no special key or pass code for the gate that is Jesus. The gate is open for all to enter; for all to come in and go out and find pasture. All. That is part of the abundance of the Jesus way.
That abundance is not only about the gifts we receive. It is also the way in which we give those same gifts to others: mercy, forgiveness, love and justice. It is the way we live, with our whole heart open and vulnerable to ourselves and others.
Living wholehearted is sharing our abundance and our needs freely following Jesus’ example.
Jesus says, “Do this”; share this meal, care for each other, teach the whole world about me and my abundance.
And we do. (Or at least try our very best to do.) Not to gain entry through the Jesus gate but to live the abundant life that has already been given to us. It is there in the midst of heartache, illness, death, job loss, hunger, disappointment. Look to your neighbor her hands extended filled with the abundance gifts of Jesus.