Anyone else in need of a little rest, time to regain your strength, and some CONSOLATION right now?
We have, just a few short days ago, celebrated RESURRECTION DAY, the amazing triumph of Jesus over the grave, the gift of ETERNAL LIFE. Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection are the pinnacle of our faith, and I want to be exploding with HOLY JOY. Holy joy over the incomprehensible LOVE that gave us His only begotten son, that we might have life and have it abundantly. Even still, I find I have one foot, or more of me, in the Upper Room with the apostles before Jesus appeared to them on that Easter Sunday. I have the privilege of history and time to know what God did for me, and yet..part of me is still…afraid. Maybe my fear is because of this pandemic and the unknowns, but yet, I think that maybe my fear is born of something that has been around much longer than this pandemic, my sin.
So, just like when I was a child and most afraid of the dark, or getting the can of corn from the fruit cellar in the scariest part of the basement, or one of my much bigger brothers thought I should play act like we were part of the WWF, I run to the one who will console me and keep me safe, my mother. But, my earthly mother has already gone to glory, so I have embraced our Blessed Mother as my mother now. I know that would please my earthly mother. I affectionately call Our Lady, Momma Mary.
I have been growing in my relationship with Momma Mary lately, kind of like a mostly responsible teenager who is growing into an adult friendship with their mother. I have been laying at her feet all the things I fear most…and waiting for her sage advice or just to be wrapped in the warmth of her mantle. She has not disappointed in caressing me and in gently and tenderly leading me to the truth that will dispel all my fears. Every kiss from her, every glance of love she shares, begs me to change my gaze.
She desires me not to gaze at the emptiness and loneliness of all my sin and decide that is who I am, but rather, she longs for me to gaze up and see her son, Jesus. She keeps telling me that every torturous moment of Good Friday was done for utter LOVE of me. His open arms, long to embrace all of me, no matter my sins and failings, and his thirst on the cross, is a thirst for my love and affection. Momma Mary and some beautiful saints she has introduced to me, like Faustina and Teresa of Calcutta, have led me into the penetrating eyes, the cleansing waters, and the life giving blood of my sweet Jesus; Jesus as Divine Mercy.
As we approach, this most beautiful Feast of Divine Mercy on Sunday, I know that Jesus wants me to get under the shower of His blood and water gushing forth and to let His Mercy drench every wound, every fear, every thought that says I am not worthy, with the balm of HIS LOVE. He wants to drench me in His Mercy so that I can lose my strong-willed grip on having control, so that I might relinquish it all to God’s beautiful will, constant goodness, and kept promises. He wants to wash me in his Mercy that says come and rest on my shoulder, let me remind you, Julie that you are MY beloved daughter, MY treasure, MY pearl of great price, MY one sheep that I left the 99 to find.
I beg you to read some of St. Faustina’s diary and/or to read some words from St. Teresa of Calcutta, to see how Jesus pursues you, loves you, longs to be in relationship with you, and desperately wants to hear you tell Him you love Him. I pray that you and I can then listen to Him as he tells us of His incredible love for us, every nook and cranny, and how he will always love us no matter what.
Oh my Jesus, I TRUST in You!