Easter is never over because it is the foundation of our Christian faith. The knowledge that the life of the Risen Christ lives in us is a cause for rejoicing and a defence against the misfortunes that befall us.
There is a deep conviction in all of us that bad things should not happen to us if we are loyal and true to Jesus Christ. But unfortunate events do occur in our lives over which we have no control. They can shatter our faith in God because we think it is not fair of God to make us suffer when we have been good! We have been fair with God who in turn should be fair with us. But our lives do not always work out that way.
For example, both Jesus and Mary, his mother, suffered a great deal. The Gospels tell us that Jesus felt abandoned by his Father during his passion in the garden and again on the Cross. During the crucifixion he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). That cry from the heart sounds like spiritual desolation.
Mary stood at the foot of the Cross while her Son Jesus died. Her sense of loss must have been profound, not only because she was losing her Son but also for the way in which he died, crucified on a Cross. Then when He rose from the dead with a new life her encounter with him alive must have been joyful. We have no record of it in the gospel but I believe she must have met her risen Son. How incredible!
With the resurrection Christ’s new life lives in us through our baptism. He is with us and He says to us, “I am with you”. In the tough times when we feel the absence of God, we have to remember that Jesus knew hard times himself. We have to hold onto this truth that He knows what we go through and is with us.
One of the founders of the Missionary Society of St Columban, Bishop Edward Galvin, must have also felt a sense of abandonment in 1952 when he was ordered to leave Hanyang, China after 40 years as a missionary there. All those years of work lay in ruins behind him. His dreams were in the dust. He had lost everything but not his relationship with God who had sparked the vision of mission in China.
Fr Gary Walker SSC
LISTEN TO: From the Director: Never give up, never give in
(Duration: 3:38mins, MP3: 1.66MB)
- Read more from The Far East - May 2017