I really had meant to write more here during Holy Week, but it just didn't end up happening that way. I had taken a day off from work to give me 5 entire days off, and I ended up sleeping for 2 of those days, and then the rest of the time, my heart was full and focused on the Lord, alone. What a blessing, what a way of life! Coming back to one of my jobs this week has been a shock to the system, as it were, and of course next week, both jobs will be in force, so I'm a little nervous about how my system will respond. Silence, stillness, quiet adoration and prayer... these are the ways that let me thrive.
The Lord has showered me with blessings and new insights and understandings that have taken deep root, and they are in essence over shadowing and pushing out the old weeds of fear, anxiety and pride. Slowly, He works in my heart and mind and spirit to show me that I am precious to Him, that my life has meaning beyond what I can see in the immediate present, and that in everything, I am to trust Him. So my prayer in adversity has become "Yeshua, I trust you! Help me to trust." I feel as if He's taught me this prayer Himself, because it is the quickest way to turn from the anxiety and despair that threatens at every turn.
In fact, I am convinced that I am no different from anyone else in experiencing anxiety and despair. The only difference is in intensity and in how people choose to deal with those "demons," if you will. It's easy to escape from anxiety and stress by becoming absorbed into the things of the world, even the things which are of themselves perfectly harmless, but which can nonetheless lure us away from His Heart, the true source of help, comfort, and transformation.
I'm into transformation. And it's Resurrection season, y'all, so it's a good time to talk about transformation. I am coming to understand, in some small way, that it is WE who are "transubstantiated" into union with Christ. That's the point of it all, I believe. Being good people and being kind to one another, being generous and forgiving - YES. But it's more than just good works; we are meant to be one with Messiah and with each other, as He said in his final discourse before the Crucifixion in John 14: 15-21 (NRSVCE)
15 “If you love me, you will keep[f] my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,[g] to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in[h] you.18 “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”And in John 15: 4-5, He tells us:
4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. (NRSVCE)
Jesus/Yeshua invites us into oneness, to follow Him not just in our actions (externally) but in our hearts (interiorly). As I've discovered all to painfully well (and yet continuously let go of and have to rediscover), I can do nothing without Him; in other words, I fall again and again and only by clinging to Him am I able to get up, keep on going, and do better when the bell rings in the next round.
In this Easter Octave, I am going to Mass every morning, in the hopes that once the insanity kicks in full swing next week, I'll have a morning routine to follow. I dread the exhaustion that comes from working 10 hours a day, driving 1.5 hours and getting home after 9:00, but once again, if I ask Jesus to be with me, to share in my fatigue and experience, I know the time will be blessed for me and for those whom I serve.
I completely identify with the disciples who Jesus met on the Road to Emmaus, who we read about in today's Gospel. They didn't understand that Jesus had to die and rise again to fulfill the Father's will. In deed, they were thinking with "human logic," that it was good while it lasted, but the prophet wasn't, couldn't have been, the Messiah, because he was crucified - a most shameful, hideous death. Jesus walked with them, and they didn't recognize Him, because their minds were focused on the natural, that is to say, the "possible." It was only when He broke bread with them that they recognized Him - in the Eucharist - and believed. Believing in the supernatural isn't something we do easily. Believing that God became a human, lived with us, then died to our collective and individual sins, then rose again to bring us to God's glory... yeah, it's a stretch! Unless you ask to be made strong in your faith. "Jesus, I trust You. Help me to trust!" (Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!)
He is with us always, as He promised, transforming us and our lives. He has risen, indeed! Alleluia!