Rise to Freedom, Joy

17 Mar

man in praise

The Church proclaims in prayer:

          “Oh, Lord, unwearied is your love for us.”

We should never tire of contemplating that divine, unending love which brings us to life, forgives our sins, nourishes us with the Word and the Eucharist—that love which promises us an eternity with God and all the saints.

In Christ, we rise to freedom—freedom from fear, unending and unhealthy guilt, hopelessness and separateness.

In Christ, we abandon worries, cling to hope; we learn to cope with sorrows and loneliness; we do not let the world’s troubles lead us to hatred and depression. Rather, we cling to our Lord, to his promise to be with us and to give us wisdom to understand how his will is accomplished in us. He gives us strength to bear even with the unbearable.

We live in that freedom known only to the sons and daughters of God.

We rise to purpose—the call of Christ Jesus to witness the Father’s love to everyone in our lives; the call to share our faith in salvation through the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord.

We are to become a living Gospel, the kind of person and people who love as Jesus loves, forgive as God forgives, and repair with love the wounds caused by illness, injustice, poverty, and ignorance.

We rise to the recognition of the fundamental purpose to which Christ calls us—together to be his faithful presence in our everyday world, and to shine with hope.

We rise to joy—the joy that overcomes pain and discouragement because we know our God, because we walk together in the Lord and because the Lord lives in us and for us.

Joy in God is the root of compassion. If we are not joyful, how can we hope to help others come to know Jesus as the way, the truth and the life?

Joy is contagious. So are sour dispositions, doubting hearts and resentful spirits.

I know people whose lives beam with joy and with hope—some of whom live with deep suffering. It’s so wonderful to be in their presence.

Our freedom, purpose and joy have their source in the resurrection of our Lord. As St. Paul reminds us:

“And if Christ has not been raised, then empty [too] is our preaching; empty too, your faith” (1 Cor 15:14).

 

 

 

 

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