I wanted to share this poem awhile ago, but life got in the way. It’s message reminds me of when Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16: 33). He didn’t say, “You might have trouble”, or “If you try really hard, you can avoid trouble”. No, He said, you WILL have trouble.
I appreciate how Jesus always said it like it was. He never minced words. I often think of the term “tough love” when I think of His many teachings. He wanted us to take responsiblity for our sinfulness, and warn us of what would happen if we didn’t “feel” like listening or obeying. So, although we will suffer through both natural and man-made troubles in our lives, our Lord time and time again reassures us that He will give us the courage that we need to rise above it all.
When you see a forest ravaged by storms, and earthquakes blasting the land, and fire burning down your home, say to yourself: I believe that the forest will come to life again. That land will be calm again and I shall remake my home.
When you hear rumors of war and people everywhere are dying of terror, when “nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 27:7), say bravely to yourself, “Jesus warned me of this and he added: ‘Look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28)
When sin has you in its grip and you feel utterly defeated, say to yourself, “Christ is risen from the dead and I shall rise from my sin.”
When old age or illness embitters your life, say, “Christ is risen from the dead and has made a new heaven on a new earth.”
When you see your son running away from home in search of adventure and your cherished dream as father or mother crumbles around you, say, “My son will not run away from God; he will come back because God loves him.”
When charity seems to have vanished forever and you see others sunk in sin and drunk with treachery, say to yourself, “They will touch the depths but they will return because no on can live away from God.”
When the world seems a defeat for God and you are sick with the disorder, the violence, the terror, the war on the streets; when the earth seems to be chaos, say to yourself, “Jesus died and rose again on purpose to save, and his salvation is already with us.”
When your father or mother, your son or your daughter, your spouse or your friend are on their deathbed, and you are looking at the in the pain of parting, say, “We shall see each other again in the kingdom. Courage.”
This is what it means to believe in the resurrection. But there is more. Belief in the risen Christ means something else.
For Mother Teresa of Calcutta it means comforting the dying, and for you it means doing the same.
For Martin Luther King it meant facing death, and for you it means being unafraid to die for your brothers and sisters.
For Abbe Schultz, prior to Taize, it means opening his convent to hope, and for you opening your house to hope.
Every departing missionary is an act of faith in the resurrection.
Every newly opened leper hospital is an act of faith in the resurrection.
Every peace treaty, is an act of faith in the resurrection.
Every agreed commitment is an act of faith in the resurrection.
When you forgive your enemy
When you feed the hungry
When you defend the weak you believe in the resurrection.
When you have the courage to marry
When you welcome the newly born child
When you build your home you believe in the resurrection.
When you wake at peace in the morning
When you sing to the rising sun
When you go to work with joy you believe in the resurrection.
Last Things ~Carlo Carretto