When we pray "Make us worthy of the promises of Christ," what are we asking for? What are the promises of Christ? Peace, rest in this life and eternal life in the life to come.
Oh yes, and crosses too. They come in all sizes: small and large, simple and complex.
Do we rejoice in all these promises?
Listen to the words Jesus says to his followers: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. The peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Jn 14:27
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke (cross) upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Mt 11:28-29
Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live.” Jn 11:25
Do we believe these promises of Jesus? What do they entail from us? An open heart, willingness to change, growth in our relationship with God and others, an acceptance of crosses and self-emptying that leads to new life and resurrection.
How can we achieve these promises of Christ?
One of the practices of Lent is making more time for God in our lives. That is where we can begin to find the peace and rest we need in our hectic lives. Jesus once said to Ven. M. Celeste, “You are for me alone and I am for you alone; I am your Solitude and Repose; I am your sweet Company, your profound Centre of Peace where I will accomplish that which I promised.” Florilegium 50
Then Jesus Christ made to Celeste a present of his divine Heart and gave her at the same time…unbreakable promises of uniting her to Himself eternally in faith, hope and love. It seemed to her, from that moment, she was raised to a new life. Florilegium 69At another time Jesus said to Celeste, “All the crosses and troubles of life which the Father might be pleased to send you are not only to obtain your eternal crown, but also that you might be living images of my Humanity.” Florilegium 118
I am sure you are like me and don’t enjoy ‘crosses and troubles.’ But they are a part of being human. If we are called to be ‘living images of Christ’s humanity’ then we are called to accept the crosses in our lives. And we don’t have to look for crosses, they come. These, too, are gifts from God. They give us new awareness. They change us. We can grow from them and then experience new resurrected life in Christ.
One way to see if we are changing and growing in our relationship to God and others is to review our day. 1 Corinthians 13:3-4 has a simple formula to gauge how we are doing. It says: Love is patient; love is kind, love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
While reflecting on our day we can paraphrase this by asking ourselves: Am I patient? Am I kind? Am I jealous, boastful, arrogant or rude, and so on…?
Reflecting on our day is not meant to get us down on ourselves – we are human, after all; things happen. It is meant to be an eye opener so we can see where change and growth are needed.
If you continue to read 1 Corinthians 13: 12-13 the last line says, “Now I know only in part; then (in heaven) I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. For now, faith, hope and love abide, and the greatest of these is love.” That is another promise of Christ. Love abides. So, do not be afraid. Love never ends. This is what Jesus promised Celeste that she/we will be united to Him eternally in faith, hope and love. Now that is cause to rejoice in the promises of Christ!What has Jesus promised you?