Lenten Journal – Day 40: It’s done!

Reflection on Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

It is done! It’s over! 

The deed of sale of our old house was finally signed and the property income would come in a few weeks time. We had moved to the new apartment, starting all over again from the scratch. I felt sad by loosing our house where we lived for almost 25 years. We didn’t just loose a house but a home where we shared a lot of memories together both happy and painful ones as well. I felt relieved that it was finally over; all the burdens, sorrows and depressions that we had while living in the house. I could finally see some hope in the future. 

“It’s over! There’s nothing that you nor I can do about it, because it’s the law.” These were the words of the judge when the divorce papers where signed in the court. Anyone who has gone through a divorce would know the indescribable feelings and million thoughts that goes through you all at once. 

“The case is close! It’s over!” These were the words of the social worker, together with the family therapist. Two years of therapy, family counseling, visits to psychologist and the social system, has finally ended. I was afraid. The same feelings I had when I finish my driving lessons and was given my license to drive. From then on, I knew I had to drive alone without my teacher sitting beside me. All the responsibilities were handed or transferred over to me. Would I be a good driver? Now that the family therapist signed me out, I could no longer come to her and seek counsel. Would I be a better parent to my kids? 

All of us go through a period in our lives that change us entirely. We feel sad of the painful past and what it has done to us, afraid to move forward in the future and insecure of what lies ahead. The disciples of Jesus had those feelings. When Jesus died on the cross, even after 3 years of training and living with Him, they were not prepared to go through this painful meaningless death on the cross. They doubted if everything was just a waste; afraid that same thing would happen to them as well, devastated for seeing the death of someone they love very much. They felt powerless to do anything at all. Jesus hanging on the cross, like a common criminal, was meaningless for them at that time. He didn’t do anything wrong, on the contrary, did everything that was good and taught everything about love. He was paying for a crime he didn’t commit. 

Yes, it’s over. But there’s a new beginning coming. A new dawn, a promise of something better. That’s life; like the changing of seasons and time, when one season ends, another begins. There’s nothing much to do but move on and face life with great anticipation. Because that is the promise of the whole Lenten season and the passion of Christ – that Easter morning, when everything would be renewed by the power of God. 

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Lenten Journal – Day 36: Truth

John 8:32 – “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 

What is truth? Things that our parents told us? Our churchleaders, gurus or others? What is this “truth” that Jesus is telling us? Do we know the truth?

Knowing the truth is different from accepting it.  You might say that you know the truth. But do you accept it? Jesus is the truth; revealing God as the Father and as Love. As love is truth, we love without any deceit or lies. We love as the son loves the Father and as the Father loves Jesus His son. If we accept the truth that love doesn’t demand any conditions or expect anything in return, then we can live more freely. We love because we know the truth that we are loved by Love Himself. We love others knowing that we don’t need others to love us back because our happiness doesn’t depend on them but on the truth that we are loved by Love himself, no matter what. We are immersed in this love, molded and created anew to become Love. 

Once we know and accept the truth, we live it. Everyday becomes a new expression of love and manifestation of the truth. 

This Lenten season, God is calling us to look into our lives and into ourselves. Is there any deceit? Double-standard moralities? Lies? Repent for the Kingdom of God is near. 

Lenten Journal – Day 33: Repetitions

Fifth Sunday of Lent

John 11:40 – Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

When I read this passage, I hear it again and again inside my mind but it is not Jesus, but me saying, “Did I not tell you?” As a mother of six kids, I asked that question countless times to my kids. And any parent would probably agree with me, when I say that dealing with teenagers is not easy. We need to repeat to them several times what we said  before it’s heard or responded to. I guess it’s the same with dealing with toddlers. Repetitions, rituals and structure are very important in bringing up kids. Of course, there are times when we cannot follow it rigidly. We need to give allowance and space for our kids to explore, learn and grow by themselves as well. Balance is the virtue of two extremes.

In the gospel reading today, Martha displayed one of the most astounding faith. She said, “And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” John 11:22. And when Jesus asked her if she believed, she said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.” John 11:27. But like other human beings, frail, sinful and forgetful, she forgot. That’s why Jesus had to say, did I not tell you?

Every year, the Church goes through the season of Lent among other liturgical seasons; same readings, message and rituals. I heard people saying that it’s just tradition and because it occurs every year, it has no longer value. For me, they are wrong. People forget. Repetitions are necessary to remind us again and again, Jesus message and teachings, His life, death and resurrection. And every year comes different challenges in life. So every year, we have different petitions or the opportunity to reach out and help different people. Everyday is also different. We strive to be better. Even in our prayer life and spirituality, repetitions can help us grow.  But as I mentioned earlier, not to be rigid, instead, giving the Holy Spirit the freedom to work in us. Balance is the virtue of two extremes.