Grace to you, and Happy Easter!
Waiting rooms at heart hospitals are one of the most anxious places to be. As families and friends wait for the news of the diagnostics after a heart attack, for example, the dominant moods are nothing to be desired. Ominous faces. Sad looks. Depressing spirits. Long silences.
"Is she going to be okay?" "Is everything going to be all right?" Questions fly back and forth. In the meantime, some who may not have prayed in a long time, dust their bibles, rosaries or other religious items and struggle to lift their hearts in prayers. Overall, waiting for the news after a heart attack is always tense.
Why is it the case? One of the reasons may be the gripping power of the sudden end of Life. Another is the fear that the worst could happen. Not even the stoics, those ancient philosophers who act as if they had no emotions, could stand the volatility of this sort of unpredictable outcome. One's state of mind could be all over the place when confronted by the power of death or sudden change in the health situation of a loved one.
Suppose the cardiologist comes with good news, "We caught it in time, and after a few surgeries, she will be okay." Faces are brightened. Smiles take the stage.
If the news isn't so good, the doctor says, "It's a rare case, I will advise you to keep hope alive while we do our best," faces drop. You will observe family and friends holding on to different sources of hope.
Perhaps, providentially a fellow patient walks out of the clinic after his routine check-up and notices the sullen faces of the family. He decides to find out what is going on. At first, nobody would talk. But when they realized he had been a heart attack survivor, they opened up to him.
He seemed more positive than the picture of the doomsday the family is painting. Gradually, he takes charge of the entire discussion, explaining that he is a survivor. "I have been there before. I survived it." He goes on and on with details of how his case was highly complicated. Nevertheless, by sheer hope, trust in God, and the expertise of the doctors, he lives to tell. He had eight surgeries in the process.
Suddenly, the faces of the listening family members brighten up. The witness of this survivor was reassuring. At least they know, first hand, it's possible their family member can survive this.
Think about this kind of scenario. I have seen it over and over again in the past two decades. You may have been a witness to similar situations too. As you think about the story, reflect on the Gospel of John 14:1-6. The Lord Jesus reassures his disciples: “Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, also believe in me" (John 14:1).
The disciples were worried he was leaving them. They were afraid he predicted the betrayals against himself. They were concerned about what will become of their hope in his messiahship. They were worried about so many other things, just as many of us are worried about health, food, the bills, the pandemic, the future, etc. Some are also deeply sad, "when can we return to Mass and receive the Lord in communion?"
The ultimate answer to human worries comes from the one who has been there before us and has returned to tell us the Good News. The answer is faith in God, faith in Christ. Believing in God is being on the victory path. Faith in Christ as the Savior Way, the Truth, and the Life is key to victory. It is journeying on the wings of providence triumphantly amidst the gallows of worries. There is sufficient room for us in God, where we can rest.
I'm praying for blessed assurance for you and your loved ones in moments of despair. Amen.
God love you. God Bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Friday Easter Week 4: Act 13:26-33; Jn 14:1-6]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu Ph.D., 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.