Friday August 22, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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April showers, May flowers

Ministerial Moment
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We usually expect that April showers will bring May flowers, but with snow threatening to fall even this past Sunday after the previous Monday's short-lived snow cover, it is amazing that there are a few flowers poking through beyond the dandelions! While we celebrated Christ's resurrection on Easter Sunday almost 4 weeks ago, there is something about the slow arrival of spring that parallels our spiritual lives. Just like Jesus' disciples who only gradually came to truly know and believe in the risen Christ, our own Christian lives suggest a similar sluggishness of spirit whereby we struggle to believe more strongly and deeply in the risen Lord and His power to renew us inwardly.

Like Thomas who requests proof of Jesus' resurrection by touching the wounds the nails made in His hands and where the lance pierced His side, we seem to demand signs from Jesus as to why we should believe. Or perhaps like Peter, who was still smarting with his cowardly threefold denial of knowing the Lord, and needed to be reconciled with His Lord and Master as he responded three times, "Yes, Lord. You know I love you," only to be told, "Look after my sheep." Or those two disciples, trudging along downcast and discouraged to Emmaus, only recognizing Jesus in the breaking of the bread, even as their hearts burned within them as He explained the Scriptures about Himself to them.

All these, plus the remaining disciples who had abandoned their Lord upon His arrest and went hid themselves behind locked doors in fear, represent each of us at times, when we fail to commit ourselves as strongly and as loyally as we might to the risen Lord. The more we are ready to touch the wounds of Christ borne for us, to let our denials and betrayals to move us toward the One who reconciles us with Himself, and to be fed with the Bread of Life broken for us on the cross, then the Risen Christ reveals His deep and abiding friendship with us, as our lives bloom with the flowers His grace and mercy produces within us.

The mystery of Christ's resurrection, preceded by His death on the cross, has the capacity and power to renew our lives whenever we receive His love and friendship to strengthen and encourage us with promised of gift of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate and Paraclete of Truth, which Christ came to reveal for us and that the Spirit will engender and remind us. May the event of Christ's gospel, particularly His death and resurrection, enable us to become conformed and converted to His divine nature and character. May His grace and Holy Spirit help us to reproduce the pattern of His life within us.


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