I’m not actually talking about “the” humanity, I’m talking about our humanity. It’s a real nuisance. The fall from grace made it that way, and things just haven’t been a walk in the garden since then. And, let’s face it, our humanity is a pretty good excuse for our behavior. When someone blames us for a mistake they made, our first thought probably isn’t forgiveness. Our very first thought is likely anger. We’re angry that we’re being unjustly accused of something. And that’s a normal reaction, right? After all, we’re human.
When we’re in the middle of a project that requires our full attention and someone interrupts with a request for help on something we deem as minor, we’re likely to feel frustrated — not merciful. We may or may not stop what we’re doing and assist them. But what do they expect? We’re only human. We’re never going to get all of this stuff right, and we’re never going to be perfect, because we’re human.
But, Jesus tells us throughout the Gospels to behave in different ways. He tells us to forgive, not once but over and over and over. He tells us to show mercy because the amount of mercy we show to others equals the amount we’ll receive from the Father. And finally, in what I, personally, find to be the most terrifying passage of scripture, Jesus tells us to be perfect. Honestly, it seems like the whole act of getting to heaven is an exercise in battling our very humanity: our human nature.
When we use our humanity to justify our shortcomings, we’re forgetting a very important thing. God created us and He knows very well the weakness caused by original sin. But God didn’t create us for weakness; He made us to experience the glory of heaven one day. The Lord didn’t set us up to fail and He didn’t make heaven an unreachable goal. He created us to return to Him one day in a perfect state of grace. And our Father gives us everything we need to get there, first and foremost, His Son. Jesus conquered death for us and in a way, He conquered the excuse of our humanity. Jesus shared in our humanity and all of our experiences except for sin. Second, our Savior gave us the ability to repent and seek absolution through the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Jesus provides us constant strengthening in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. God even gives us the gift of purgatory (yes, it’s a gift!) so that we can be purified and perfected for the eternal joy of heaven.
It’s easy to let our humanity to hold us back from what God is calling us to do. It’s easy to let our humanity prevent us from being the person God made us to be. But we were never promised that becoming a saint in heaven would be easy! We were promised it would be worth it. And how could we not want to make the effort to be rewarded with spending eternity with our Divine Creator and Father? After all, we’re only human!
Copyright 2019 Michelle Jones Schroeder