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A Leaven In The World… Do Not Be Anxious About Anything

April 15, 2020 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

The Easter story told once again in our recent celebration of the Holy Triduum began with God’s “quarantine.”
Yes, our Lord spent forty days within the desert and without food or human company during that period. But that was merely the crystallization of the fact that by means of His Incarnation, His taking on our flesh, our Lord quarantined Himself, locked Himself voluntarily by means of His human nature, totally within the reality of our humanity, with all the consequences of our sins including death.
God imprisoned Himself within the reign of sin and death to save us. No one outdoes the Lord in His humility and solidarity with us.
God died.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:5-8).
The recent pandemic and the undoubted hysteria and grabbing for power on the part of some elected officials, the price gouging by thieving scoundrels, and many other tales of human failing do not change the fact that some people needlessly and painfully died alone and many were unceremoniously buried, some in mass graves.
The pandemic may have really taken off in its race across the globe due to human malfeasance, a Communist regime in China well used to abusing total power over all aspects of life, including the truth.
But much of the aftermath was the doing of others. And some of it may have been immanentist do-goodism run amuck. For unbelievers, the worst thing is death because it separates one from the only reality they accept and all of the things which that reality holds. If life on Earth is the highest good, then any drastic measures, no matter how destructive of other goods such as the economy, employment, and mental health, have to be sacrificed.
“For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things” (Phil. 3:18-19).
God died. And rose.
As human beings we are insatiable seekers of good news. Sometimes the good news is that, though someone died finally and completely to this world, he did so with hope of a share in the Resurrection of the Lord through the sacraments, particularly by means of Extreme Unction and Viaticum.
This life is not all there is.
The truth will set you free. But you must first define your idea of freedom.
For Christians freedom must be defined by God.
Easter is about just that.
Because of Easter faith, the truth is now revealed to be a Person, the God-Man who died and was raised three days later to confer life on all who are held captive under the reign of death. And who taught, “I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
We have witnessed worship being banned to preserve life in this world. Churches were locked, Confessions forbidden, even in some cases Last Rites withheld.
Dr. Janet Smith told us recently in her petition (WeAreAnEasterPeople.com) to restore public Masses safely — with the emphasis on safely — that life is important but that “the purpose of our living is worship.” She also affirms that “the sacraments are the ‘personal protective equipment’ of Catholics and enable us to be in the field hospital of the sick and dying.”
This is a statement of the tough and tender love of the Lord the world needs to see in His Church.
Many of us are lacking both the toughness and the gentleness of God bestowed by grace in Jesus Christ.
The tender love of the Lord led Him to the suffering and death of the cross for each one of us. But He was never without the toughness necessary to endure the cross all the way to the end, also in that same love.
We need both of these, both the tenderness of God to love as He does and the toughness of God to endure the shame as well as the grace of being Christians in order to witness for Him to an unbelieving world.
He teaches us to be different, and not to worry about what we are to eat or what we are to wear. We need to learn to treasure and to live the grace of being different from the unbelievers among whom we live.
And the grace to witness in love to them. A love both tough and tender.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Phil. 2:2).
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4).
Do not be anxious about anything.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.
(Check out my blog APriestLife.blogspot.com)

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