” I want to know Him, and the Power of His resurrection, I want to know Him, and the fellowship of His suffering, I want to see through His eyes, I want to know the Lord’s heart, no matter what it takes I want to know Him.” Yolanda Adams based on Philippians 3:10
This weekend as we draw closer to the celebration of Easter we get a glimpse of the assurance of the Power of the resurrection. We saw two weeks ago the woman who thirsted for living water, last week we saw the blind man who walked in darkness receiving light and sight. Today we find one who is dead restored to life.
These spiritual metaphors of “thirst, darkness and death” we know come from our separation from God in His Son Jesus Christ. Our sin, our weaknesses, our bad habits and addictions leave us thirsty for meaning, blind to the truth and power of God, and ultimately spiritually dead. But even in the midst of this we have hope, we are not left to fend for ourselves. We have a means to living water, we have the powerful light to illuminate our darkness and we have the power that can raise us from death to life. That power, that ability is Jesus Christ. Like Lazarus we are dead, we are bound and Jesus speaks to our sin, our brokenness, suffering and pain and speaks these words over our lives. He rolls away the stone and says “Untie him and Let him go!
To know Christ and the Power of His resurrection as Philippians 3:10 tells us, ultimately transforms our lives. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ brings about a knowledge of who He is and how He can be active in our lives. But there is a key, a special antidote, namely, we also share in His suffering. The fellowship of His suffering is the taking up of our cross each day. Jesus says, “If you want to be my disciple you must take up your cross and follow me.”
Today our nation and nations around the world are knowing a suffering that many have not seen in there lifetime. We are overwhelmed by sickness and the fear of death throughout this pandemic; however, I wish to offer you some hope in the weary land, I want to offer you light in the darkness of these days we’re living in. I invite you to a deep and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Our Catholic faith is not some ideology, it isn’t some great philosophy that one obtains through deep intellectual calculations and discovery, rather our Catholic faith is simply about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and sharing the transformative power that He has and desires to have no only in and over our lives, our situation but that that of the world. Taking that experience and relationship with Jesus Christ lived in the context of community and shared with others particularly those on the peripheries, letting them know that they too are loved and have access to their creator who loves them and desires to be deeply united with them in their suffering.
The Prophet Ezekiel reminds us:
“you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.”
Even in the midst of all that is happening around us we can still sing and proclaim. “This is my Season for Grace for Favor, this is the season to reap what I have sown.”