I’ve had Christ is Risen by Matt Maher stuck in my head for about a week now. Any who, I’ve finally gotten around to writing a Lenten reflection! 😀
Death is the ultimate reminder of our humanity and our need for God. In the last Sundays gospel reading we’re reminded of this- it was the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Sin is the cancer of the soul and death is it’s result. Death is a release from the suffering, torment, and pain of this world, and through God’s infinite grace and mercy, serves as the pathway into Heaven. It was Christ’s death on the cross that tore through the gates of hell and broke Satan’s hold over us. He paved the way for us, but why? Because he loves us of course!
We are constantly reminded of his love for us. We can see the face of God and hear every single “I love you” from Him in every person and thing we come in contact with. Just look around you. His smile is in every kiss of sun light and in every vibrant flower and tree. His laughter is in every burst of wind whistling through the trees. His embrace is found in every good deed. How can people not see it? Do we choose not to see?
He longs for us with an infinite longing. On the cross during his passion Christ said, “I Thirst.” Personally, I’ve always wrestled with the meaning of this phrase, but today I finally made the connection, his thirst was for me and you. He thirsts and longs for you and your love. He tells us time and time again,”No matter how far you may wander, no matter how often you forget Me, no matter how many crosses you may bear in this life; there is one thing I want you to always remember, one thing that will never change. I thirst for you – just as you are. You don’t need to change to believe in My love, for it will be your belief in My love that will change you. You forget Me, and yet I am seeking you every moment of the day – standing at the door of your heart and knocking. Do you find this hard to believe? Then look at the cross, look at My Heart that was pierced for you.” (From I Thirst for You Prayer by Blessed Mother Teresa)
And how do we repay that love? We repay it with our selfishness and pride. Christ, talking to Saint Margret Mary, said, “Behold this Heart, Which has loved men so much, that It has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify to them Its love; and in return I receive from the greater number nothing but ingratitude by reason of their irreverence and sacrileges, and by the coldness and contempt which they show Me in this Sacrament of Love.” We constantly wound the heart of God by our actions and he still loves us. God understands our suffering, our faults, and our needs. He interrupted and inserted himself into human history to save us.
How can we draw close to Christ you may ask? Through the sacraments, through prayer, and through works of mercy. Removing ourselves as the center of our lives and replacing it with God can change everything. Following Christ is living outside of your comfort zone. We were not made for fear. Always remember, you are loved, you are wanted, and you are fearless. This life is only but a small chapter in the story of the lifetime to come. I pray that we all open our hearts to his passion as we begin our journey through Holy Week.