April 13, 2016
(St. Martin I, Pope and Martyr)
Jesus said, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.” Jn_6:35-40
So in order to be raised, we have to believe in Jesus. But raised from what or where, and to what or where? When we can recognize that we are not residing on the top of the mountain, or the top of the ladder, or on the top of anything, really. When we realize that we are actually living, as the Psalmist says, “in the valley of the shadow of death” (Ps 23), then we really have nowhere else to look but to the Son to raise us up. And raised up from here is truly where we want to be.
Oh, yes, there really is some awesome beauty in this life, both in nature and in people. But there are also some pretty treacherous pits; pits of unemployment, poverty, enslavement, war, bullying, ignorance and prejudice, just to name a few. And if we’ve been fortunate enough (actually blessed enough) to have gotten away with not falling into those pits too often in our lives, then we might have a little harder time wanting to be raised. But for many, many people on our beautiful planet, life has been, just one pit after another, until all of life truly is – a valley of death; death that we’re all going to experience, whether our lives have been glorious or disastrous.
If we believe in Jesus. And if we have developed a living, loving relationship with Him, both through the Scriptures and through other good Christian people, our lives in this valley can be much less painful and much more beautiful than without Him. Jesus promises us an eternity of life, even better than the very best mountain top experience we can possibly imagine in this valley.
And that’s a promise, beloved, we can count on.
______________________end of post