During the Daily Mass yesterday on EWTN (2/5), it seemed as if the words − as being spoken within the Readings − were strikingly new to my ears… but it was because [at last] I was hearing them with my heart!! Fr. John Paul then went on to speak of “seeing” …Seeing, that is, with eyes of faith [eyes of the heart, for sure!]… able to look upon the Cross of Christ – and see Victory – see Hope! Therefore, may I share with you such special words as these – from Scripture and from the homily I heard − as well as from my own heart… In our desire to fulfill a hunger we all share, every day, for Hope!
Beginning with the Word of God... [excerpts of the Readings I heard at Mass 2/5/2014]:
● God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly & despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God. It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, Who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.” [from 1Corinthians 1]
● [Lord,] incline your ear to me; make haste to rescue me! Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; for your Name’s sake lead me and guide me… My destiny is in your hands; rescue me from my enemies, from the hands of my pursuers. Let your Face shine on your servant; save me in your mercy. [from Psalm 31]
● Then [Jesus] said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me… Whoever is ashamed of Me and of my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when He comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. [from Luke 9]
And now, encouraging words from Fr. John Paul [per notes I took while listening]: >>…Without faith, the cross seems only [to be] an instrument of torture… and that [Jesus] was defeated… [but] faith enables us to look past the Cross, and to see its ultimate meaning – the Vctory. The Cross is not the final chapter… Suffering is never the last word… It’s always Resurrection! [So when we] gaze upon the Cross, [we’re] able to look past the cross and see victory… With Christ, life does not end with the Cross. We are looking – gazing – most of all, HOPE’ing – towards eternal Life… The two beams of the cross, vertical & horizontal, are where heaven & earth meet, [where] God & man meet… Jesus Christ meets each one of us on the Cross, at those intersecting points where [beams] meet… where we ultimately will find our meaning… And it’s only in the cross that we, as Christians – through faith – know what the meaning of suffering is – [and] that suffering has redemptive value when united to the Cross of Christ… The beam of the Cross, vertical & horizontal, extends to every age and every culture… [and] Christ’s blood is not dried up… that’s the reality [of] the Sacrament of Penance. Within the Cross of Christ is contained – not only our struggles, sufferings, and sins – but our own personal victory. See Christ’s victory through faith… Look at the Cross and see victory… [But] can each one of us see ourselves on the Cross with Christ? …because that’s exactly where He took each one of us, right to the Cross to gain the Victory – so that we, too, can gain that Victory with Him.
Fr. John Paul also spoke of how Saint Agatha was never ashamed of Jesus… And of how she prayed (before dying in jail): “O Lord, Jesus Christ, good Master, I give You thanks that You granted me victory over my executioners’ tortures; Grant now that I may happily dwell in Your never-ending Glory!” <<
O my God, relying on Your almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Your grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.
May we truly see… and never lose Hope!
2014.—The Way to Nourish for Life [EF, rd].