Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"What can you do?"

In this morning’s gospel, the people ask Jesus an interesting question: “What can you do?” I found myself smiling. Poor Jesus lived in an age of great teachers and magicians. They all had wisdom for sale and even a few tricks or “signs” that bolstered belief. The people didn’t understand who they had in their midst. You and I get to read the gospel backwards – through the lens of the resurrection. We know and believe. We want to tell them, “Wake up! He’s the one!” But their question is all too human and there are times in every life that we ask the Lord, “What can you do?” There are times when our prayers feel unanswered – when we wonder why GOD doesn’t act. People die, natural disasters occur, acts of evil and violence continue – we want a sign that GOD is still GOD. When the people threw GOD’s gift of manna in Jesus’ face, hoping it would encourage him to work a miracle; Jesus – the Word made flesh – chose to give them the truth instead. “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

Many heard it and but only some believed it in their hearts. This one sentence is more powerful than any wonder. The truth contained is so deep it is nearly beyond our comprehension. Jesus is the true bread sent from heaven – he is all that we need to sustain us on the human sojourn. In his dying he freely gave his body – literally – the supreme act of surrender and solidarity with we who must one day walk that path. In his rising Jesus freed us from the fear of death. It will not have the last word. It is not the enemy. It is a gateway – a portal to joy in GOD’s presence. The Lord’s self-emptying love is the love of the Father – a love that gives all, that heals all, that rights all. It is a love we can touch and taste and savor in the Eucharist – the bread given us by the One who wants to be with us here and now. Whenever we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim his death – the death which released us from its power – until he comes again in glory. “What can you do?” Oh, how I hope all the world will come to know what the Lord Jesus has done and can do in every human heart.

Easter peace and risen love to you all...

- Sister Vicki

ART: Resurrection, St Paul de Meythet Church, by Arcabas (Jean-Marie Pirot), 1998