Thursday, May 15, 2014

Life of Faith

Poets, writers, artists, thinkers of all persuasions attempt to expand our vision and make life more meaningful, enticing and beautiful. Certainly there is nothing that can compare with our belief in the Paschal Mystery, the meaning of the Resurrection, to give zest and great joy to the gift of life that we have received. Sadly for many it is to good to be true, and ignored as wishful thinking and worse, deception.

A diocesan bulletin addresses this with the words of  Khalil Gibran: " 'If winter should say, Spring is in my heart,' who would believe winter?" The priest writer feels this is a good expression to use in meditating on the mystery. Without the advent of winter we do not have spring and the many pronouncements of life.

We are in the season of Easter and the time to live this mystery. Without the understanding of  Easter life, we are not living with Jesus or encountering him,  and the Easter season lacks  meaning. The problems and  puzzles  of life are not resolved  and the greatest of these death, we will not understand. But even more is that we will live with anxiety and without joy.  Easter is the answer to desire for life, and happiness.

Jesus said: " I am the resurrection and the life: whoever believes in me, though he should die, will come to life; and whoever is alive and believes in me will never die (John 11:26). In death there is life and joy in pain. Without pain we do not know joy. In the despair of the  paschal mystery we have joy and in the darkness we have light. Without going through the darkness we will not know the light. Gilbran expressed it in these words: "If we do not walk the intersection in the evening we will not know what to do at the intersection in the morning." If we do not walk the way of death we will not be born again.

A ball that does not hit the ground will not rise again. This expression makes clear that the despair of hitting the ground is necessary for the ball to return to the hand and to  the joy of the one bouncing the ball.

The priest brings us to the tragedy of the Sewol ferry  and the great loss of life. It was at the beginning of the Holy Triduum. The preparation for Easter was filled with great sadness. There was great heartache with the  families of the those who died but also for the Koreans who grieved for those who died and their  families. The Paschal Mystery, the Easter Mystery,  gives us hope.  " There is no despair!!!"

In Romans we have the well known phrase: "Hoping against hope (Rm. 4:18). For many the Christian life is  seen by those on the outside as a  belief that allows one to feel good for no rational reason. And yet those who believe are using all of their faculties and the great gift of faith that allows them to believe without any diminishment of our intellectual faculty.  We need to remember that we receive knowledge not only from the head but the heart and the body, our whole being is involved and helped by grace.

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