Tag Archives: Eyes of faith

Your Expectations Will Not Remain Unfulfilled: Part 2

There is a kind of faith that can become the memory of something once beautiful, now simply to be recalled.  Many people – we too – experience such a “faith of memories,” as if Jesus were someone from the past, an old friend from their youth who is now far distant, an event that took place long ago, when they attended catechism as a child. A faith made up of habits, things from the past, lovely childhood memories, but no longer a faith that moves me, or challenges me.

Going to Galilee, on the other hand, means realizing that faith, if it is to be alive, must get back on the road. It must daily renew the first steps of the journey, the amazement of the first encounter. And it must continue to trust, not thinking it already knows everything, but embracing the humility of those who let themselves be surprised by God’s ways.

We are afraid of God’s surprises; we are often afraid that God will surprise us. And today the Lord invites us to let ourselves be surprised. Let us go to Galilee, then, to discover that God cannot be filed away among our childhood memories, but is alive and filled with surprises. Risen from the dead, Jesus never ceases to amaze us. 

This, then, is the second message of Easter: faith is not an album of past memories; Jesus is not outdated. He is alive here and now. He walks beside you each day, in every situation you are experiencing, in every trial you have to endure, in your deepest hopes and dreams.

He opens new doors when you least expect it, he urges you not to indulge in nostalgia for the past or cynicism about the present. Even if you feel that all is lost, please let yourself be open to amazement at the newness Jesus brings: he will surely surprise you. 

Going to Galilee also means going to the peripheries. Galilee was an outpost: the people living in that diverse and disparate region were those farthest from the ritual purity of Jerusalem. Yet that is where Jesus began his mission.

There he brought his message to those struggling to live from day to day, proclaiming this message to the excluded, the vulnerable and the poor. There he brought the face and presence of God, who tirelessly seeks out those who are discouraged or lost, who goes to the very peripheries of existence, since in his eyes no one is least, no one is excluded.

The Risen Lord is asking his disciples to go there even today. He asks us to go to Galilee, to this “real Galilee”. It is the settings of daily life, the streets we travel every day, the corners of our cities. There the Lord goes ahead of us and makes himself present in the lives of those around us, those who share in our day, our home, our work, our difficulties and hopes.

In Galilee we learn that we can find the Risen One in the faces of our brothers and sisters, in the  enthusiasm of those who dream and the resignation of those who are discouraged, in the smiles of  those who rejoice and the tears of those who suffer, and above all in the poor and those on the  fringes. We will be amazed how the greatness of God is revealed in littleness, how his beauty shines forth in the poor and simple.

And this is the third message of Easter: Jesus, the Risen Lord, loves us without limits and is there at every moment of our lives. Having made himself present in the heart of our world, He invites us to overcome barriers, banish prejudices and draw near to those around us every day in order to rediscover the grace of everyday life.

Let us recognize him here present in our Galilees, in everyday life. With him, life will change. For beyond all defeats, evil and violence, beyond all suffering and death, the Risen One lives and the Risen One guides history. 

Sister, brother, if on this night you are experiencing an hour of darkness, a day that has not yet dawned, a light dimmed or a dream shattered, go open your heart with amazement to the  message of Easter: “Do not be afraid, he has risen! He awaits you in Galilee”.

Your expectations will not remain unfulfilled… your tears will be dried… your fears will be replaced by hope. For the Lord always goes ahead of you, He always walks before you. And, with Him, life always begins anew”.

Like Pope Francis said in his homily, if we put our hope and trust in God, our expectations will not remain unfulfilled. It’s easy to forget that when we find ourselves wading through life’s inevitable sufferings. Nonetheless, the trick is to remind ourselves that there is someone greater than our tribulations; and in time, He will save us. We just need to remain hopeful.

Evaluating New Year’s resolutions

Next week God willing, I turn a year older. I’m so thrilled. However, I realized as opposed to my younger self, who would look forward to that special day with so much eagerness, nowadays I feel like the day is not just about parties and gifts anymore, but a reminder of the things one hasn’t achieved yet. This thought took me back to the start of this year. I, like many goal-oriented people, drew up a list of the things I wanted to fulfill by the time we tipped our heads to this year, when ushering in  the New Year.

Naturally it’s that time of the year when people start evaluating their Year’s resolutions and drawing up new ones. I don’t remember any particular year that I accomplished all my set goals, but this year has been particularly one of a kind. Of the goals I’d set I achieved only one, but I feel at the same time I have achieved so much this year that I hadn’t quite planned for. This blog for instance; I hadn’t planned on it, and of my year’s achievements, I feel like it has been one of my greatest.

When I started it, it was almost mid-year, and I remember feeling I had a few more months to check off all the resolutions I’d made. Now it turns out, there are only a few days left before the year ends. Normally I would be disappointed for not achieving all my set goals, but this year I’ve also learnt a lot pertaining to matters faith.

That said, I will not look at all that I haven’t achieved; instead I will count my blessings. I will look at all that I have achieved this far, whether I’d planned for it or not. I’ll be content, because I feel I have achieved a lot so far. I will also be content because the goals I won’t be checking off my list were not achieved, not because I didn’t try hard enough, but because circumstances wouldn’t allow it.

I don’t know if from a professional’s perspective that’s a good way of looking at it; but seeing as I believe God was with me all through the past eleven months, since this year began, I’ll look at it through the eyes of faith; in my finite mind I made my plans, but God, in His infinite wisdom, had better plans for me. And whatever I’ve accomplished was what He had intended for me to accomplish.