“There are some Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter.” (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel)
It’s easy to live life this way sometimes, isn’t it? To become Eeyore. To succumb to Debbie Downer syndrome. To, quite simply, give up. We each carry crosses…fears about rejection, anxieties over health or relationships or finances, hopelessness about the future.
When it feels like we are trapped in an unrelenting desert of life…when all our efforts seem futile…when it feels like the miracle of Easter will never arrive…what are we to do?
Today’s Gospel gives us a pretty solid example of what this looks like. When faced with the prospect that his cherished son would soon die, the royal official traveled to Galilee to see Jesus. After imploring Jesus to save his child and hearing the words, “You may go; your son will live,” the official headed home. Jesus didn’t go back with him. The official trusted that Jesus would care for his son. He believed. And what’s more, the official led his family to believe, too!
The joy of Easter, the hope of salvation, the gift of faith isn’t about always receiving the answers to our prayers that we want. It’s about coming to Jesus again and again when we feel like we are living in Lent.
This is what it is to live with the anticipation of Easter, to be a disciple in modern society, to seek Hope. We go to Jesus; we believe Jesus; we serve as witnesses to Jesus.
In the first reading from Isaiah, the Lord proclaims that He is about to create new heavens and a new earth. Let’s embrace our vocations to be disciples. Let’s seek Jesus as we await new heavens and a new earth. Let’s believe.
Mary Williams is the writer and painter behind Creating To Love. She is the creator of The Examen Journal and is excited to be combining her passions for beauty and simple, accessible prayer in a new series of prayer books launching this spring!