Jesus Christ is risen! Alleluia! Not only that, but I can eat candy and drink pop again! Alleluia. I am not really doing too much of that yet though, as tomorrow I have to run a small race that I decided to be a part of while I’m in town. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it? The Boston Marathon?
Jim and I got up and took a cab to the Catholic Church on the campus of Harvard University, St. Paul’s. It is this beautifully detailed tribute to the glory of God- inlays of gold-ish tile and stained glass, frescos of saints, marbled pillars rising up to heaven.
As we all joined with the brass and organ, it filled and echoed through the colossal space and I really felt that connection once again to my mother, who is celebrating this Easter, this triumph of Christ in heaven. Right then the two churches were one- the church militant and the church triumphant, and she was right there with me, because once again- we are all connected.
I keep reflecting on the things Allie was talking about yesterday, about Christ’s Resurrection and how He saved us from our sins. It is Jesus Who makes all things new. And at what a price He saved us! So now what? Do we just say, “Hey, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.” and go along on our own way? Or does this change us forever? Is our life no longer ours? Do we allow Christ to claim us as one of His, branded to this One Who redeemed us? If so, then we can no longer sit idly by. In the second reading today St. Paul said:
Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.”
Yes, Jesus most certainly paid the ultimate price for our sins now and forever. I truly believe this. But I also believe that it doesn’t stop there. I have used the verse in the heading of this blog that is just as relevant on this Easter day as any other, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me...." (Luke 9:23)
Again I ask myself; so now what? Well, I’ve come down to it, to the end of this little chapter in my life with just one more day until it is completed, and what a day it will be. (Gosh, that’s sounds kinda final.) Like there will be no more chapters in my book. I assure you, that’s not the plan. My life’s book has lots of small parts, just finishing up a chapter.
I can’t help but reflect on all the things I have learned and done over the last four months that have brought me to this point in time. The pain. The anxiety. The doubts. The triumphs. They have all gone into shaping me into the daughter I am. And now, with a full heart I wrap it all up as a gift to my God. I am asking Him over and over to fortify me. Fortify me Lord, that I might glorify You.
Now, I am perfectly aware that we are not talking some monumental titanic dealy here. It’s not like the clouds are going to part from on high as I cross that finish line and the angels are going to break into song. Then again I never claimed to be all that (at least not often enough to make it stick). But Jesus isn’t asking me to solve the entire world’s problems or win the Nobel Peace Prize. He understands fully what He has to work with, it’s not much, but then He’s not asking for much. Just all of me.
I recommit myself to the four reasons I decided to champion on this journey. I will be thinking about that piece of paper with this typed on them on the closet door by my treadmill:
Why am I doing this…
1.) In thanksgiving for the great gift of the Blessed Sacrament.
2.) To make amends to the Sacred Heart for all the outrages committed against the Blessed Sacrament by me, by those I love, and by Your enemies.
3.) I intend to adore You in all the places on earth where The Holy Eucharist is present and most forgotten and abandoned.
4.) And I offer it up for all those You have given me to love.
The weather is supposed to be good tomorrow. You know what? I think I will head out and live a little. And while I’m at it, I just might run for a few hours.