Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Repent or Perish Luke 13:3

The First Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection of Our Lord

The disciple whom Jesus loves peers into the empty tomb and believes. Ask Our Lady to help you to pray this decade to experience the hope of those who believe in her Son's glorious resurrection.

--from Praying the Rosary: With the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and & Mysteries by Michael Dubruiel and Amy Welborn.
Repent or Perish Luke 13:3
It is a grace that many of us can only imagine the horror of peering into the emptiness. There is little doubt that most sin is an escape from having to peer into the emptiness. But the empty tomb that the Beloved Disciple peers into is in fact not empty--there are relics left behind of the shroud and cloth that covered the face of Jesus. He sees that Jesus is not there, but the cloths that covered him are still there--add to that the love that explains when there is no explanation and you have Faith.
Pope Benedict's first encyclical was on this very topic, the love that is God. Believing that God loves is the first step to true repentance, metanoia "turning in a completely different direction" away from self and toward the other--God. When we believe that God loves us, we look beyond, further than we look when we do not believe. When we do not believe that God loves us we are apt to interpret everything that happens to us in a negative way--as the worst thing that could happen to us. But when we believe that God loves us, everything is seen in a new light.
We peer into the emptiness, indeed we even dare to look at what is not there, and we believe!
For an example of how radical this is consider this reflecting a recent and horrific tragedy:
As Mary and Ben explained the day's violence to their sons, they emphasized the
importance of forgiveness and trusting in God.
"I just feel bad for the gunman," said Mary's husband, Ben, 41. "He had a mother and a wife and a soul and now he's standing before a just God."
While outsiders might be surprised at the forgiveness immediately extended to Roberts, Donald Kraybill, an authority on Amish culture, said that reaction is typical.
"That theme of forgiveness really comes from the example of Jesus, who carried that spirit even to the cross," said Kraybill, a professor of Anabaptist studies at Elizabethtown College.
In Gospel lessons, hymns and prayer books written in German dialect, those teachings are passed down through generations in Amish settlements."I
think the Amish are much better prepared to cope with something like this than
most Americans," Kraybill said. "They see things as having a higher purpose,
there's a higher good, so they are more able to absorb and accept things in a
spirit of humility."
From the St. Paul Pioneer Press.