In the Gospel for this Sunday’s Mass Jesus says: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me, draws him.” (John 6:44) Now the Greek word here is Helkuein which means “to draw or to drag” and the word always implies some sort of resitance. In a way Jesus more than implies that all of us who do believe offered some resistance and the Father had to drag us along! “Oh, not me!” you might say, “I have been a believer since my youth!” Well, get used to it, all of us are a “hard case” to God. Truth is, our flesh (our carnal “sin-nature”) does not want to believe, does not want to be told what to do. God, working through others has to drag us along. It is true, some of us are harder cases than others but all of us are still in the category “hard case.” We can be very stubborn, willful, and stiff necked. We can also rationalize very easily and convince ourselves that sin is no big deal and even not sin at all.
Yes, indeed we have to be dragged along by God and our carnal nature resists. So, if you’ve come to Jesus, thank the Father, he had to drag you and me here! And, like wandering sheep, he often has to go out and drag us back. “No one can come to me,” says Jesus, “Unless the Father draws (drags!) him.” Again, if you have faith, thank the Father! You might say we have a “drug problem.” The problem is that we have to be “drug along” at every stage of our lives.
There is an old Internet standard you may have read elsewhere that reflects this need to be “drug”
I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather. I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher. Or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me. I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four letter word. I was drug out to pull weeds in mom’s garden and flower beds and to do my chores. I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline or chop some fire wood. And if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the wood shed. Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin, and if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America might be a better place today.
Here is the Video for this Sunday’s Gospel from the movie, The Gospel of John available at Amazon:
Here’s recorded homily from today in mp3 format: Sermon for 19th Sunday: Our “Drug” Problem In the Sermon at the end I quote a gospel song by Kurt Carr which is here:
2 Replies to “Faith as a”Drug Problem””
Hats off to Msgr. Pope for pointing out the issue of resistance implicit in this passage. I found it utterly jarring to find helkuein as the source of the word “to draw” in this passage. I formerly understood helkuein as the verb meaning to drag a plow. While, reading the passage in English, I understood God as drawing us through some type of irresistible, magnetic force.
O Lord, let me be drugged!
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