October 17, 2015
Jesus said to his disciples: 'I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others
the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.
But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God." (Luke 12:8-10)
A Franciscan friar recently reminded me of a story : “There was a man who fell into a hole, he tried everything to get out of the hole but nothing worked, he was deep down this hole with no hope, so he cried out for help…another man who was passing by the hole heard him and jump into it. ‘Why did you do that? Now we’re both trapped in here’ He cried out.
The man who jumped into the hole smiled, and said ‘It’s ok! I have already been here; I know how to get out’”
“The world is tired of the same people trying to be teachers, it needs witnesses.” Said the friar.
I had always found it interesting how suffering unites people. We are naturally capable of compassion, and this compassion always brings the best of us.
I used to wonder a lot why people suffer? But such existentialist question may not be resolved immediately; it is nothing but a distraction to the reality that lies beneath our struggles.
We just don’t suffer because God had nothing better to do; we suffer because he has chosen us to bear different things.
We have been chosen to go through whatever we are going through right now. Praised be Jesus, who out of all people looked at us and gave us what we sometimes see as a burden!
And if we ask: Why me? Why is it easy for others? Why do I have to go through all this? …well…Because he trusts us; he knows we can do it, he is making us witnesses of his love, and we must remain faithful. He will give us the suffering in which we will greatly manifest the love he is given us, so that our vocations can truthfully be fulfilled, not much in physical but in a spiritual way...in Spirit and Truth.
But then, once we have already conquered the mountain and suffered in the name of Christ, let us not deny him, some people after a battle retire from the war, but a Catholic is always on duty. If we have already been there, look at the Christ who right now is crying out for help, right in the same hole you were. Look for the Christ somewhere in your world suffering alone, go to those who have also been chosen just like you to bear the same sufferings and show them how to glorify God, not because you know all the theory, but because you lived it...be merciful to others.
The world does not need the same teachers, it needs witnesses. The world needs real people, not the kind of people who "levitate" at church 24/7 and expect us to levitate too. We need real witnesses who will show us how to walk firmly towards Christ. We need those who have been there in the battlefield with nothing but Christ as a sword and shield, the ones with the crucified heart, the ones who were not only chosen but who also chose to endured.
We need to hear from you and you need to hear from me, when we fall and rise, our big or small struggles, our sorrows and joys, our deserts and oasis…
Let us not deny Christ, go to those who are crying out for help in the same hole you were and jump in it. Walk together, show them the way out, and tell them how God saved you...
Saint Ignatius of Antioch
Pray for us!