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God of the Here and Now

July 28, 2020
July 29, 2020
PITIK-BULAG: God of the Here and Now
Life is full of mysteries. There are so many things in life that we cannot understand. Sad to say, many of these mysteries involve pain, suffering, and darkness. And when these mysteries strike us, we found ourselves in dire need of answers to the many questions in our life. Human as we are, in our search for understanding, we find ourselves encountering more questions rather than answers. We are overwhelmed. We begin to question God and His will. And in the end, we lose our hope and faith in God.
One of the mysteries in our life is death. It usually brings great pain and suffering beyond our endurance. We experience sorrow when we LOSE SOMEONE dear to us or LOSE SOMETHING very important to us. Death is painful because it is BEYOND OUR CONTROL and BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDING.
The pandemic brings countless experiences of death. The news of thousands of people dying all over the world brings fear and anxiety to many. The increasing number of infected by the virus and our inability to find the vaccines in spite of our advanced technology make us helpless. The lingering virus forces us to embrace the new normal and looks at the past with pain. Our near future is bleak and dark. We don’t know what’s ahead of us. It’s beyond our control and beyond our understanding. We begin to DOUBT GOD’S LOVE, lose our capacity to COUNT OUR BLESSINGS, lose our INNER JOY, and lose our FAITH. The death of our faith becomes imminent.
In reality, our experience of mystery can make or break our faith in God. It can make us spiritually mature or become an unbeliever. It can make us more trustworthy to God or end up bitter in life. The COVID virus leads to countless experiences of death in our life.
In our gospel today, in spite of her great suffering and pain, Mary showed an extra-ordinary faith in Jesus. Death is a mystery. It is something beyond our understanding. The only thing concrete to us is the pain it brings. Thus, we are invited to tightly cling to the Lord who declared Himself as “the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).” And Martha knew this truth because she knew Jesus by heart. Thus, in the midst of pain and uncertainty of the future, SHE ENTRUSTED EVERYTHING TO JESUS, THE SON OF GOD.
In the mids of the COVID crisis, consider the following points for your reflection. Learn something from Saint Martha on how to handle mysteries, especially the experience of death in our midst.
1. IMPORTANCE OF MEETING JESUS: “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home.” (John 11:20)
Confronted by the mystery of death, instead of lingering in her pain of losing Lazarus, Martha decided to confront and meet Jesus. She knew that Jesus has the answer and Jesus was the answer to her miseries.
2. MARTHA WAS TRUE TO HER FEELINGS: Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died. (John 11:21).
Here we see the depth of Martha’s relationship with Jesus. She was blunt in telling Jesus her disappointment to Him. He could have returned immediately to cure Lazarus, but Jesus was late to help Lazarus. Are we honest to God when in our prayer? Being honest about what we feel in front of God is not an expression of disrespect. It could be a sign of a deep relationship with the Lord.
3. A BELIEVER OF GOD OF THE PRESENT: “But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ (John 11:22)
When we are confronted by mysteries and death in our life, we usually ask God, “Where are you now? I need you now!” Suffering blocks our eyes to see that God is present in the now. Our experience of pain challenges our faith and our capacity that God is constant in His love. Martha showed great faith in the midst of suffering, thus she can see the presence of God in the present.
4. A PROFOUND EXPRESSION OF FAITH: “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” (John 11:27)
Our faith is tested in the midst of uncertainties and darkness. In spite of her inability to comprehend the mystery of death and her pain of losing Lazarus, Martha was able to express her deep commitment and trust to Jesus. With great devotion, she said, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
Because of her profound expression of faith, Jesus was moved and made a miracle in their midst by resurrecting Lazarus. Her profession of faith invites us to look at ourselves. When was the last time you expressed your faith in the midst of crisis and darkness? In this COVID crisis, are you doubting God’s power? NOW IS THE TIME TO SHOW TO THE LORD OUR FAITH IN HIM. And not only when ALL IS OKAY. GENUINE FAITH IS EXPRESSED IN DARKNESS, NOT IN THE LIGHT.
Let’s ask for the grace of courage to trust God in the mids of uncertainties and instabilities. our God is the God of the present moment. Count your blessings. Not your miseries. Wipe away your tears and see that Jesus is beside you.
– Pitik-Bulag
July 29, 2020 – Wednesday
Gospel Reading: John 11: 19-27

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