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A Call to Believe: the Love of the Risen Son

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“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33

This excerpt from John is very much pertinent today and every day of our lives. How numerous the disbelievers and the nay-sayers, how difficult it is to swim against the tide of the world that says, “there is no God, or if there is one, he has forgotten about you, there is no life after death, only an inexorable death! And the proof that he has abandoned you abounds all around: pain, suffering, tragedy, and yes, death!”

 

But sometimes even we doubt, and join our cries with those whom cannot accept the notion of a loving creator. We, like those without faith, may exclaim as His own disciple Thomas did:

“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”John 20:25

 

But my brothers and sisters, we have a living and LOVING God! He is prepared to break down walls, to shatter our blindness, to remove our deafness, if only we will turn to Him! And what is the proof of this notion?

“Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”John 20:26-27

 

He is willing to meet us at our own level! He does not withhold Himself from Thomas, but rather humbles Himself before him, meets his demands! And every Sunday, we as Catholics celebrate the beauty, and the love of God, the ACTUAL PERSON of God, coming down to our level, humbling Himself before us, so that we may receive Him in the form of bread and wine. The world thinks our God says, “climb this ladder, take this journey alone, good luck reaching me”- but that could not be farther from the truth! In writing to help us understand the spirituality of St. Therese, Bishop Patrick Ahern offers a beautiful insight into the love of God and our relationship with Him:

…the love of mother and father for their new born child. The baby has done nothing to deserve their love. His needs are all he has to give to them…[he] gives his parents no end of work and inconvenience, robbing them of their independence…[but] they are glad to be at his beck and call. A good father or mother will say of the child in the cradle: “He just pulls the love right out of my heart!”

 

And so it is with us! He loves us with the deepest of paternal loves, longing for us to be in communion with Him! So communicate with Him, call out to Him, regardless of where you are spiritually! If you have fears, tell them to Him, if you have felt abandoned, run to Him! If you hate Him and feel like He has left you with more than you can handle, seemingly endless suffering, then ask for help! Ask for understanding!

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”John 15:5

 

Abide in the Maker of the universe, the One who formed your heart, and knew it before you even existed! If you are doubting like Thomas, ask for Him to make His love present to you! If you are so broken that you need proof to believe, proof that you should cling to Him, then make your demand as Thomas did, and in His time, He will open your eyes of faith. Even in the gospel it says it was a week later before Thomas received his answer (Jn 20:26-27). But He is so tender, so gentle, that He will not force Himself into your life. He will only softly call, in the hopes that YOU, that WE, His children, will turn to Him, will cry for Him, as a child cries alone in its cradle. Listen to the voice of our loving God:

“Since he clings to me in love, I will free him; Protect him for he knows my name. When he calls I shall answer: “I am with you.” I will save him in distress and give him glory.”Psalm 91:14-15
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Tony Guajardo
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Assistant Campus Minister and Men's Group Leader