Daily Encouragement - April 13
It is true that your life is not about you; rather, "your life is hidden with Christ in God. He is your life, and when he is revealed, you will be revealed in all your glory with him" (Colossians 3:4).
I want to share some thoughts given by Fr. Richard Rohr in a recent meditation. "Once our soul comes to its True Self, it can amazingly let go and be almost anything except selfish or separate."
Fr. Rohr suggests, and I believe that the cross is an image for our own time, and every time. When we gaze upon the image of the crucified Jesus doesn’t it soften our hearts toward all suffering? In the middle of the continuing spread of COVID-19, the cross draws us to what many might call "grief work," holding the truth of pain, looking right at it, and learning from it. With awakened hearts, God leads us to an uncanny and newfound compassion and understanding. Yes, we are going to die, but we have already been given a kind of inner guarantee and promise right now that death is not final—and it takes the form of love. We are seeing this now in simple acts of love in this time of crisis, such as people volunteering to make masks and deliver food, or people cheering hospital workers arriving for their shift. Isn’t it amazing how small acts of love or gratitude can imprint a deeper knowing on our souls? I believe those various acts, often shared spontaneously, change all of us. Maybe that’s why they are so positively shown on so many news broadcasts.
The crucifixion of Jesus is the preeminent example of God’s love reaching out to us. It is at the same moment the worst and best thing in human history. The Franciscans, led by John Duns Scotus (1266-1308), even claimed that instead of a "necessary sacrifice," the cross was a freely chosen revelation of "Total Love" on God’s part. As illustrated in the above Rohr quote, we can’t respond by being selfish or separate. This gives us encouragement because as we are moved to share, we become united in ways that were barely thinkable just a few weeks ago. Thank you for all you do!
Hymn: "Let All Things Now Living"
Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving
to God the Creator triumphantly raise,
who fashioned and made us, protected and stayed us,
who guides us and leads to the end of our days.
God’s banners fly o’re us; God’s light goes before us,
a pillar of fire shining forth in the night,
till shadows have vanished and darkness is banished,
as forward we travel from light into light.
Lord God, we pray that the love shown to us and by us will continue to be evident in what we do, and are becoming. Help our priorities be adjusted to reflect our increasing awareness of what it really means to be your children, and joint heirs with Jesus our Christ. In His name, and to Your glory we pray. Amen.