Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Risen Christ's Rescue Operation - Part Two

The finale of Saint John's Gospel – Chapters 20 and 21 – records one of the most powerfully moving incidents between Our Risen Lord Jesus and His Apostles.
After His resurrection from the dead, Our Risen Lord Jesus chose the occasion of a lakeside meal to give Saint Peter the opportunity to re-examine his commitment and profess his faith once again.
Our Lord Jesus prepared breakfast for His friends. And, then He asked, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?"  "Yes, Lord, You know that I love You." "Then, tend My sheep; feed My lambs.  Follow ME!"

HOW can you and I follow the Risen Lord NOW, two millennia after HE ascended back to Heaven?  How do we even FIND HIM in His hidden, risen life?
We must look for Christ in one another. It's not enough for us to be rescued.   It's not enough for us to accept His gift of His life to us. Just as He wants us to have His life within us, so does He want the world to have His Life, to be RESCUED, through us -- rescued through us IN TWO DIRECTIONS: giving His life TO others AND accepting His life FROM others in whom He is hidden!
We can perceive Christ in others ONLY if we realize that He IS hidden in His Risen Life. Therefore, we can only discern Him with the eyes of FAITH.
The Risen Lord Jesus says to us, as He said to Saint Thomas, "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN, AND YET BELIEVE."  We need that reminder. Especially when we encounter people who exasperate us, try our patience, and generally drive us up a wall!
Some people are NOT exactly unmistakable, crystal-clear windows through whom we see the indwelling Christ shining through.  But, then again, those people may feel exactly the same ... about US!
We must learn to recognize Christ in others with the eyes of our faith, because our peace of conscience and soul depend upon whether or not we BEHAVE as if we DO see the Risen Christ dwelling in others.
It is part of God's plan for us that the Risen Lord Jesus should come to us IN EVERYONE;  it is in their specific personality and circumstances that we must LEARN to recognize Him. 
  • He may come to us as a little child, making enormous demands on our patience and generosity AND giving us enormous affection and trust. 
  • He may come to us as a stranger, a "bag-lady" or "street person", asking for hospitality, food, concern. 
  • He may come to us disfigured in His Passion, as a cancer patient, or an alcoholic or drug addict, or A.I.D.S. victim, asking us for courage and compassion, asking us not to be scandalized. 
Christ also may come to us asking us to the extreme humility which accepts HIS service offered to us -- as Saint Peter had to do when Our Lord Jesus washed Peter's feet and, later on, when He cooked breakfast for Peter on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
If we see everyone in our life as having the Hidden Christ within them, we'll treat everyone with the reverence and objectivity that will grow into love. We'll also be able to accept whatever they bring to us as coming from the hands of Christ Himself -- whether they bring joy or sorrow or responsibility to us. 
Because, nothing comes from Christ that is not given for our ultimate happiness. Therefore, we'll be able to gradually learn that all the things people do, all the demands they make on us, are all part of GOD'S PLAN TO RESCUE US.
Once we've understood that, we can never again feel completely frustrated or angry at anyone; we can never hold a grudge against anyone. 
Nor shall we ever miss a blessing or joy God wanted to give us through another person. And even the pain of parting from loved ones at death will lose its power to afflict us,  because there will be no one whom we will NOT find again, rescued and in CHRIST'S LIFE for eternity.
On the slab in the tomb, from where they were placed across His chest, Christ extends His open Hands.   With a supreme act of love, He uncovers His Heart, a Heart which has died but has risen to new life.  And now He lays it wide open to generations and generations of people.  He sets His feet On the dusty floor of the tomb.  He unwinds the burial wrappings and lays them aside.It is not a ghost who walks in the silver of morning light.  The shadow that falls on the tombs, is the shadow of a Man of flesh and blood, transformed to the absolute fullness of life!Christ rises from the dead. There is no blast of trumpets, only everywhere in the world, there are people who are aware of a voice that is heard Only inside the heart, telling the wordless secret Of ultimate joy.Everywhere, people are listening for the first footsteps of the Risen Christ.He walks, In OUR shoes.  WE walk in His path of life forever!Alleluia!
From The Risen Christ by Caryll Houselander

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Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
Take a moment and visit the MOSJ website.