Letting Go To Jesus
by Deacon Thomas Frankenfield
Continuing our Journey
Again, we will continue our journey down the road of dealing with pain and suffering. Before we begin let me respond to an email I received this week. If I have not made it clear previously, I want to state unequivocally that I have a high regard for the medical, clinical and scientific communities and their miraculous work with all who suffer in this world, of which I am one. I praise God that they are all using their personal and collective talents, which come from God, for the benefit of humankind. However, I bring spirituality point of view born of my pastoral experiences and theological training. I see this approach as coming from the heart. It is experienced with the People of God’s personal relationship and acceptance of the Holy Spirit’s role in pain and suffering. The choices we make in our relationship with God can destroy, renew and ultimately evangelize the world in which we live.
Last week we looked at the initial impact of the onset of pain and suffering. We discussed how we are ripped from our normal environment and placed in a new setting that often times is surrounded by anxiety and uncertainty. So going further we now look at other likely level in our experience. Many sufferers immediately withdraw in the face of these new circumstances. One of the most obvious reactions is to feel alone and abandoned. It is there that we make the tough choice of inviting others into our situation. After all, few have ever made it though pain and suffering alone.
Suffering in the life of Christ
Throughout our religious formation, we have always been trained to look to the life of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, as a model for most aspects our lives. Jesus, who was like us in every way but sin, can truly be our guiding light, especially in the darker paths of our journey. Having walked a similar journey, Jesus knows who we are and what we are going through.
Jesus’ earthly life started in Bethlehem in the midst of the most humble conditions. Those conditions of his birth alone would be considered suffering by today’s health and medical standards. Suffering and pain were not foreign to Jesus in his ministry either. In the instances of dealing with those who were hurting, His actions were unambiguous. From the compassionate healer to the broken Lamb of God on the Cross, Jesus completely fulfilled the role the Suffering Servant. (Reference the powerful prophecy in Isaiah 52:13-53:12.)
So, whatever we are facing in our particular journey of pain and suffering, we have Jesus by our side to love and support us should we be open to His care. The Catechism of the Catholic Church goes further to say that , “…the Church, following the apostles, teaches that Christ died for all men without exception: "There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer.” (CCC 605)
Through our Church and the sacrament of Baptism every one of us are called to be visible signs of Christ in world. So, not only do we participate in the sufferings of Christ but we are called to minister to others as Christ and the Apostles did in their time. So, the Christian Community is ready to support us, pray with and even cry with us in our pain and suffering.
Let Go and Let God
In the end, we are truly never alone in our sufferings, unless we choose to close ourselves into an interior shell. We need to remember that there are People of God, our Church and a loving Savior all waiting for us to say “yes!” I echo the phrase I learned in Cursillo many years ago—“Let go and let God!” In many cases God will touch your heart either by the gentle breath of his Holy Spirit or by sending one of the members of the Mystical Body of Christ. All we have to do is be open.
So my fellow sojourners, in spite of whatever is causing your suffering, know that Jesus is waiting to hold you close to His Sacred Heart. Release your pain to Jesus--say “yes” to make Jesus the Divine Physician in your life. Let Go to Jesus!
For Your Reflection
From a Ministry Perspective:
- What part of being a facilitator of Jesus’ healing love makes me the most comfortable or uncomfortable?
- Am I able to model saying “yes” to Jesus in my life so that I can better understand the community I am serving?
From a Family Perspective:
- In my Domestic Church, as parent, sibling, widow or single am I a facilitator of Jesus’ healing love? How can I make that a reality?
- Where in our relationship with each other and God, does my family most need to say “yes” to Jesus to sanctify our Domestic Church?
I would love your feedback, thoughts, stories and ideas. Please email me.
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