So, my friends, I have been in a funk this week. Normally I am Miss Rainbow, Sunshine and Butterflies – seeing the light of Christ almost everywhere I turn. The many trials in my life have served me well indeed. Being held in Jesus’ arms during life’s tribulations, my heart has experienced the beautiful space of forgiveness, gratitude and reverence for his creation. Although I must admit I have experienced these in small measure when compared to the vastness Jesus offers me, they are nonetheless glorious in my life! Boy how I do love the light of Christ! May his mercy continue to pour down on this world.
However, this week I’m facing some personal forgiveness issues involving my husband’s family. It’s wedding season and past family hurts have resurfaced – my heart has been torn open again. It’s not easy to see the rainbows, sunshine and butterflies right now. Rather, I feel the sadness present when love doesn’t flow freely. My heart has felt heavy all week. Perhaps this sadness has opened my eyes more fully to the suffering in the world. Perhaps this sadness has also drawn me to reflect on the important calling we each hold – to be a part of the unification of the body of Jesus Christ by offering our gifts to the world.
It struck me today, after reading yet another horrific reporting of the pain inflicted on the innocent by ISIS, how does Jesus do it? Being fully human and fully God Jesus experiences our pain in a way we could never understand. He understands our pain in a very human sense while fully experiencing the pain inflicted on our soul. How can he hold such pain inside himself when he looks at his brutalized children (literally) and their perpetrators. As a Catholic, I can only imagine the pain inflicted on the souls of all involved. Being both fully human and fully God, how can Jesus contain such profound pain while simultaneously holding the truth and love needed to set all his children free?
Then looking around at the world and seeing further pain, further heartache – I am amazed at how much Jesus loves us. He holds all our pain with infinite love and forgiveness. He patiently waits for us, offering the freedom and love our hearts yearn for. He is the way, the truth and the life and whoever follows him will have the light of life. Whether we know it or not, it is in him that we live, move and have our being – brutality and all.
In our first reading we are reminded that it was God’s word that brought everything into being – nothing escapes him. His glory fills all his works – not just the rainbows, sunshine and butterflies my friends. This is where we often fall short – at least I do. It’s hard for us to see his glory in the pain. However, even his holy ones must fail in recounting his great wonders. Yes, even his holy ones will not see his total greatness. Hopefully this will serve to lighten our hearts a bit, knowing we are far from being holy ourselves we cannot see his wonders everywhere either – including the wonders available in the pain.
Then I get stuck on this scripture passage – “The (God’s) universe lives and abides forever to meet each need, each creature is preserved… each in turn, as it comes, is good.” Good??? My mind has a hard time reconciling “good” with perpetrators who so brutally hurt God’s children. However, there it is – God’s creatures are all good. Obviously, forgiveness is the key to freedom here. Yet sometimes forgiveness , real forgiveness in our hearts seems impossible. And it is impossible without Jesus Christ.
All of this beacons the question – how can humanity be elevated to become the good we were created to be? How can God’s children become whole, healed and full of the joy Jesus so desires to come to completion within each and every one of us? How can we be granted the gift of sight like the blind man in today’s Gospel so that we can fully see the truth and follow Jesus?
Through faith, blind unabashed faith. Reckless faith. Crazy faith. Faith that propels us to run towards Jesus Christ as we have never run before. Faith that cries to Jesus for his pity and mercy – faith that then calls us to stop and quietly listen exclusively to his call. He calls us to use our gifts for his glory so that God’s children will in turn become the good God created them to be. It is the gifts God bestowed upon us that provide comfort to the victim and bring the perpetrator to the truth of Jesus Christ.
What are your gifts? How can they be used for his glory – really used so that his Kingdom come and his will be done? So that God’s children receive Christ healing through you? I have been asking myself these questions as well this week. I personally need to put more energy into my public speaking and writing career so that Jesus can use me to foster greater forgiveness, acceptance and understanding in the world.
Where are you called? Maybe it’s time to sit with Jesus and let him talk to you. You don’t need to look far to see that he needs you – even an honest look in the mirror will reveal to you necessary healing. Maybe you are a good listener (Stephan Ministries), maybe you are an excellent cook (the stressed pregnant woman down the street), maybe you are great with children (the children’s programs at your parish), maybe you are a master of business (a parish council), maybe you are a medical professional (a clinic in need), maybe you are a prayer warrior (daily Rosary for world peace). God has blessed you with gifts, gifts he desires you to surrender back to himself so that you can serve and this world may be healed. Let us together support one another so that our gifts expand through Jesus Christ.
I will begin by asking you to pray for me so that I can fully step into the space God intends for me, where I serve him to the fullest. If you would like for me to pray for you I would be honored – just reach out to me here. Together we can make a difference in this world. Together we can help expand the kindness of the Lord throughout the earth.
O.K. Miss Rainbow, Sunshine and Butterflies is back! Living in his love is glorious my friends!
Jesus – I Love You!!!