Grace to you!
One of the things that fascinate me in the spiritual life is the realization that God is with us in an intimate way.
In Christ, God is closest to me than anything else. Even in my weakest and darkest moments, through the eye of faith, I can see Christ and his pierced gentle palm touching me when and where it hurts the most with the balm of healing grace. I can hear his strengthening and inspiring words written all over the terrain of my struggles, reassuring me that, after all, it shall be okay.
Christ, my Lord and God, has opened my eyes to see he is here with us. A personal relationship with him through his grace deepens this understanding. In Scripture, in the Liturgical celebrations, I see him. In people around me and in events of everyday life, I can see his face and hear him speak in subtle ways too.
Christ is the true mediator between us and God. He is the go-between between us and God. Being like us in all things except sin, as The Letter to the Hebrews says, he is the perfect mediator of us all. We too are able, by his grace, to have an intimate relationship with him who is our brother, a friend like no other. This is one of the blessings of Christ’s Eternal Priesthood.
The Letter to the Hebrews, showing the superiority of Christ over the Law and the angels, makes it clear to us that Christ is also one who identified with us, so we can be sanctified through him. He did so in order that we, his brethren, could be beneficiaries of God’s saving grace. In him we have grace to overcome sin. We receive grace to triumph over eternal death, because sin, the sting of death, is overcome also (1 Cor 15:54-56).
See how the letter describes it. “Therefore, he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted” (Heb 2:17-18).
From his birth to his death, he worked and walked like us. He experienced temptations, joys and sorrows, hunger and plenty. He was rejected and accepted. He was misjudged and validated. He passed through all real human experiences—personal, social, cultural and political, etc.
More importantly, he carried upon himself the pains and sorrows and sufferings of a creaturely temporal world so there is redemption. The sufferings of life are implicated in the suffering of the Christ. Thus, we can live with much hope and resilient flowing from the Christ who laid them all on the wood of the cross. “By his wounds we are healed” (Is 53:5; I Pet 2:21-25).
He is the faithful high priest whose sacrifice brought about the blessings of his people, including yours, the believer. In Christ, the grace to overcome sin and eternal death is assured.
When next you ask, what is the sense of these sufferings? Look at Christ hanging on the cross. From there, your answers will come. Be disposed to hear him speak.
May the grace of Christ flow to you during moments of temptation and suffering. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Wednesday Week 1 Ordinary Time: Heb 2:14-18; Mk 1:29-39]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.