theROCK

God's Timing

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For a long time whenever I read John 11, the story of Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead, I identified with Martha and Mary in deep pain and crying out, questioning Jesus’ timing. However, in re-reading, I realized even if Jesus had left right when he got word that Lazarus was ill, Lazarus would still have been dead upon his arrival. Even when I realized this, I was still mad at Jesus for not leaving right away, because he was delaying his arrival, delaying his time to mourn together with Martha and Mary.

This feeling is likely a result the difficult days in-between my grandfather’s passing and his funeral. It was hard to mourn him without all the other people who were part of my memories of him being there while they traveling to be with us. Then I realized, that through this, Jesus shows us both his humanity and his divinity.

Jesus shows His humanity in the limitations of human travel, which prevented him from being at Lazarus’ side while he was dying, and in weeping at the death of his friend. He also shows his divinity, not only in raising Lazarus but also in the prudence to wait so as to perform a greater a miracle in sight of all those who gathered, that they might believe in Jesus.

In a similar way, we might be profoundly feeling the loss of the sacrament of the Eucharist right now, but Jesus is with us, and He will continue to perform miracles, even if they aren’t exactly when we desire them to be.

in Faith

Until the End of the World

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If you have ever experienced the death of a loved one, you can appreciate what the apostles went through during Jesus’s crucifixion and death.

There you are, watching your dearest friend suffer the most horrific of deaths. You see his body taken down from the cross, all mangled, bloody, and cold, and placed in the arms of his mother. You watch as they wrap the body loosely in cloth, binding the body separate from the head, and place it in a tomb. You say your farewells quickly as the Sabbath is approaching and watch as the tomb is closed.

And then it begins – the sorrow, the ache, the emptiness. You go and seek the solace from the others. You share stories. You cry. You wonder what you will do now. You do this for three days.

Then one day, when you are all together, you all hear of this amazing news that a woman from the group has seen Jesus, you are held in disbelief. Disbelief until He is there before you. The rapture! The joy! The glory! You touch Him, you hug Him, you talk with Him, you eat with Him, you have time with Him.

For 40 days you get bonus time with Him, He whom you thought was dead! He encourages you to go out and tell the story. All the while, He is reminding you that one day He will ascend to the right hand of the Father. When Jesus does ascend into heaven, he says the following:

Full authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth; go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world.” (Mk 28:18-20)

So know that Jesus does not ever leave. He is with us always. He is there loving you, encouraging you, and guiding you. You need only engage it to reap the graces from it.

Fear

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We know that when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning and saw the stone removed from the tomb, that Jesus had risen from the dead. But at the time, the disciples were not quite sure what had occurred. In fact, they locked themselves in a room, afraid of what would happen if they appeared in public. For those many days, they lived in fear.

So, what does Jesus do to address these fears? He says four simple words: “Peace be with you.”

He wanted them to truly believe in the resurrection, to know that they had no need for fear, that he would be with them every moment of every day (especially when he gives them the power of the Holy Spirit).

Today, many of us have our own daily struggles. We worry about money, about health, about relationships. We lock ourselves in our own rooms, and we try to solve all of our problems alone.

We live in fear.

But just like the disciples, we soon discover that we can’t do it alone. That we need God every moment of every day to guide us and show us the way. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to fill our minds and hearts. That’s why the same words are just as effective today as they were 2000 years ago.

“Peace be with you.”

If we listen to these words, we will truly begin to understand the power of the resurrection.