Monday, April 25, 2016

What if We Run out of Jesus?

On the way into Mass last Sunday, this is the question asked of me by my five year old granddaughter.

I had never even thought of that. But she did. After a moment I replied “well, we can’t run out of Jesus. It is impossible. When God raised him up he became superabundant!” She smiled and repeated the word, Superabundant.”

What a great question. What a great word. What a great concept; something so good and so plentiful that we never run out. How fortunate for us.

In her five years of life on this planet Fiona has learned what it means to run out of something she loves. She worries about her special little pal, Bunny, which she has carried with her everywhere since she was a year and a half old. Bunny is pretty tattered now. It has been sown and glued and everything we can think of to protect its fragile fur. But Bunny is running out. Death is real and Fiona, already at her tender age, knows this.

During the Triduum, we recall how the world did run out of Jesus for a day. We commemorate that day and call it Holy Saturday. The tabernacles are all empty. Jesus disappeared from sight on that day in history. It appeared that violence had won. Good had attracted evil and evil consumed the good. The world was dark and bleak as if all the color had been drained out. Both religious and civil leaders set out to destroy Jesus and it appeared as if they succeeded. At this time, the playing field had been leveled. No one was better than anyone else. All stood in need of redemption.

But out of death came life, out of rejection came rebirth. He rose. Death had not won. Alive again, he was hardly recognizable. He looked like everyone else. Mary Magdalene didn’t recognize him, the disciples didn’t recognize him, and the travelers on the road to Emmaus didn’t recognize Him.  Resurrected, He became superabundant. He became universal.

To ensure we would never again be without him, Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit and instituted the sacraments by which we have access to transformative, sanctifying grace. But Jesus also taught us that he is to be found in the poor, the marginalized, the sick and suffering. He promised to be among us when we gather in his name. He is in the assembly of His faithful. He is in families. He is in the joys and sorrows of everyday life. He instructed us to love one another and to treat each other with dignity and respect. What we do to the least, we do to Him. He is with us till the end of time in so many ways so as to ensure, we will never run out.

Fiona, Jesus is everywhere. Most importantly, his abundant life, he gives to you!

Mary Garlow

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