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  My Witness

Vol. 6, No. 3, July, 2001

Letting Jesus Be Lord!
by Sr. Brigid Meierotto, S.N.C.

Sister Brigid This is the fourteenth in a series of articles entitled: "You Are Invited to a Profound Interior Renewal." We repeat the quote from the Vatican II Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity:

"Since the whole Church is missionary, and the work of evangelization the fundamental task of the people of God, this Sacred Synod invites all to undertake a profound interior renewal so that being vitally conscious of their responsibility for the spread of the Gospel they might play their part in missionary work among the nations" (*35, Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity).

In the winter 1988 issue of MY WITNESSES, we reflected on Romans 5:1-5, a powerful word of God that brings consolation to all of us who are engaged in spiritual combat, and strengthens us for our evangelizing mission. We want to continue now on this same theme of having hope in our time of spiritual warfare.

The situation I want to address is that people who are living in circumstances of evil, victims of either their own sin/selfishness, or that of others: pride, lies, jealousy, hate, abuse, etc.

As you know, just to fulfill the demands of one's state in life day after day is a heavy burden. To have to bear the additional weight of struggling against some burden of sin that lasts for weeks, months, and years, makes persevering in hope seem like mission impossible.

We seek relief and help on various roads: counseling, running away, giving in by letting ourselves be overcome by physical or mental sickness, or fighting it by making ourselves a wall of resentment, anger, hatred, and bitterness. The effectiveness of these different efforts at finding relief varies. None is a total solution. At best, relief is temporary. Often, our plan of escape is actually harmful to ourselves, as in the case of illness and resentment which take away even more of our freedom as persons.

It seems to me that no matter what action we take, we are still left with the core question, the rock bottom question that is the real cause of the pain, that shakes our inside world and causes terror in our hearts: "Why is this happening to me?" "Am I so bad, so terrible to deserve this?" "Where is this God of love?" "Why doesn't God help me?"

The worst possible answer is silence. Silence gives consent, saying: "Yes, there is no answer. There is nothing but darkness, despair, death and destruction." We have come face to face with the mystery of evil and we know that if we are going to survive, to live, we must have an answer.

The evangelist, John, writes these words of Jesus in his Gospel, John 10:9-10: "I am the door; if anyone enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

Every day we experience this mystery of evil in some degree: the hatred of what is good and the desire for its destruction. Such hatred and destructive desire is contrary to right reason; it doesn't make sense. this is what causes our pain to be so destructive. The thief, our adversary the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

We know in the depths of our being that we are basically good. To confirm this inner knowing that we have, our God has revealed to us that we are good: "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish in the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them . . . And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good" (Genesis 1:26-28, 31).

With the truth within us and before us, the only reasonable, life-giving course of action is to act in hope. The truth is, God loves what he has made: "But thou art merciful to all, for thou cnst do all things, and thou dost overlook men's sins, that they may repent. For thou lovest all things that exist, and hast loathing for none of the things which thou hast made, for thou wouldst not have made anything if thou hadst hated it. How would anything have endured if thou hadst not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by thee have been preserved? Thou sparest all things, for they are thine, O Lord who lovest the living. For thy immortal spirit is in all things. Therefore thou dost correct little by little those who trespass, and dost remind and warn them of the things wherein they sin, that they may be freed from wickedness and put their trust in thee, O Lord" (Wisdom 11:23-12:2). This passage from Wisdom tells us clearly about the ways of God, how our God acts towards us regardless of how we act toward him, toward others, toward the world around us, and toward ourselves.

As we reflect on these verses we can see clearly that, very often, God's ways are not our ways. he is merciful to all, for he can do all things, I know for myself that when I am lacking in mercy toward others, it is because I have a fear of some kind. I feel threatened. God, on the other hand, doesn't have any fear because he can do all things, and he knows the creatures that he has made. Therefore, he understands, he is merciful and compassionate.

Our God is ready to forgive our sins because he knows what we are made of, and he loves every creature he has made. Our God loves us. This is why, as the author of Wisdom says, "thou dost overlook men's sins, that they may repent." Sin and selfishness separate us from others and from God, isolating us from the source of our life and our happiness. Because God loves us, he doesn't want this to happen to us. Rather, he wants us to live. Our God's desire for us then, is that we repent, that we turn from our sin which is the cause of evil to ourselves and others.

Our God gives us help to bring us to repentance, "Therefore thou dost correct little by little those who trespass, and dost remind and warn them of the things wherein they sin, that they may be freed from wickedness and put their trust in thee, O Lord." We can live in hope because Jesus has come to give us life.


The following reflections will help you make use of this article in your evangelizing efforts.

First: Reread the article, chewing again the word of God in Scripture texts. Recognize the source of evil, our adversary, and choose to accept the Answer of life who is Jesus.

Second: Prepare yourself for prayer. Stand before the Father, realizing that He looks upon you with love. Pray the Our Father and the Hail Mary.

Pray: "Most loving Father, in the name of Jesus our Lord, I pray you to fill me with your Holy Spirit that my imagination, my memory, my thoughts, the intentions of my will, my whole person be for your praise."

Third: Slowly read John 10:9-10 from your Bible or from this article and hear Jesus speak these words to you personally.

Fourth: Now, see where you stand in regard to the following reflections:

  1. Jesus says that he is the door. Do I:
    a)  choose to go in and out (make decisions) by consulting Jesus
    b)  want to walk on a way of my own choosing
    c)  think Jesus acts too slowly for me
  2. My experience of Jesus' comming is:
    a)  I haven't known that Jesus is close to me
    b)  Jesus loves me -- I have hope because of him
    c)  the thief has been stealing my life, now I'm choosing Jesus
Fifth: Pray "O Blessed Jesus, give me by the power of your Holy Spirit, a burning love for you that will move me to humble zeal in proclaiming you love to everyone I meet. Amen".

For Effective Evangelization:

Rely on this Word of God that you may proclaim the Good News of Jesus in joyful hope every day.

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