By: Henri de Longchamp, OP
If the child in his mother’s womb could think and speak, he would say, “I’m fine here. Why go elsewhere? I have my meals. What to complain about? I’m sure, at least, it’s real.
Who tells me there’s really something on the other side? I hear people talking about a life elsewhere, but is it well proven? I feel that I am made for light and movement, but there is no guarantee that I will find them when I get out of here.
There are others who left, who went to the other side, but they never came back to tell me that there really is another life. I prefer to stay. I’m afraid to get out of here.
I know that one day someone will cut my umbilical cord. It will be my death, and I have no idea what will happen next. So, I prefer to make the most of the present moment.”
Each of us is like a child in our mother’s womb. He is safer today than tomorrow.
Yet this today is not reassuring at this time of the Covid-19.
This today does not guarantee me the vision of God: I cannot prove with certainty his existence. Am I able to approach him?
When I know someone well and he is my friend, I like to receive a letter, a phone call, an email or a Zoom, a Facetime, a Skype or a WhatsApp … but nothing can replace a personal visit.
If I believe in God, Nature tells me about him, the Bible even more, but nothing can replace the experience of the presence of God.
If God exists (by the way, no doubt about it), He looks like Jesus Christ, the human face of God: “Believe in God, believe also in me.” Face of truth, freedom, sensitivity to others, loyalty, kindness, light and trust.
Jesus’ departure from this world is not the time for discouragement, in the midst of uncertainty; it opens up the possibility of being in communion with God.
This is the time of the Spirit of Jesus in the community. To believe in Jesus is to accomplish the works He has done and much more; our dreams become reality and even reality exceeds our dreams.
Do we really recognize God as a loving Being, a Father, a Mother? John Paul Irst said “God our Father loves us as a Mother.”
Do we believe by obligation because we are unanswered in face of certain realities?
Do we believe God took a human body in Jesus Christ to live all of reality?
Do we believe that Christ had the cold and the flu like each of us – that he experienced mood swings – that he suffered from feeling misunderstood, unloved … that he cried the death of his friend Lazarus?
A friend’s grandchild asked his mother, “Was Jesus peeing?” He did not want a Jesus who would be different from us.
Jesus tells us, in today’s Gospel, that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Then he teaches us different paths that lead to God the Father.
First there is the path of Jericho – the path of charity and service, the path of the Good Samaritan.
There is also the path to Jerusalem: way of transcendence and continuous service in fidelity to its mission.
There is the path to Emmaus: time to re-read events to grasp the essentials.
There is also the path to Damascus which becomes for Saint Paul the shock of reality.
All these biblical paths are possible at the cost of the truth. The truth is a call to the fidelity of our commitments.
In doing so, I conclude with what so many mothers have said to their children: “Go ahead, you are capable! ”
With the words of Saint Paul, it’s :
You are a chosen race. Go ahead, you are capable!
You are a royal priesthood. Go ahead, you are capable!
You are a holy nation. Go ahead, you are capable!
You are God’s own people. Go ahead, you are capable!
Are we capable to believe in God who believes in each of us? In Jesus Christ who chose us to continue his mission of Salvation with each of us? In the Holy Spirit, our daily strength? In Our Mother Mary who intercedes for us now and at the hour of our death? In the Holy Catholic Church, The family where each brother or sister is the beloved child of God?
I believe it with all my hearth, my spirit, my life and I want to share it always and everywhere to each and all my fellow human brothers and sisters on this blue planet.
I believe, we believe in Jesus Christ who says : “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.”