Jesus With Us

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The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Bernie Abrazado SVD – Antipolo Rizal

Monday 16th Week in Ordinary Time

By the time this reflection is published, it is hoped that the world is coming out of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Covid-19 tested the spirit and faith of the afflicted and their loved ones.

Some likely asked God why they had to suffer either from the disease or the impact of the community quarantine on their jobs and livelihood. Intense grief fell upon those who died and those who watched helplessly at a distance while the one they love suffered without them by their side.

Families and nations collectively asked for signs when the pandemic will end, when a vaccine would be available to protect people from the corona virus. Millions stormed the heavens with their prayers.

When Jesus reminded the people of Galilee of the sign of Jonah, who was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, he said, “the Son of Man will be at the heart of the earth three days and three nights.”

Two points to focus on:

First, in the darkest of days and nights, Jesus, the Son of Man, is there with us, whether that darkness is death or despair because he is truly God with us, the Emmanuel.

Second, after the darkness is the light of a new life, a new normal, so to speak. The ordeal of Jonah did not end in the belly of the whale. Jonah survived. Jesus’ descent to the dead was followed by his rising from the dead.

We go through grief and suffering. We can cross those turbulent waters towards a new life. Remember the sign of Jonah. Remember the Risen Christ, the same Jesus with us in the darkness.

Jesus remains with us now. His Spirit moves in the events of our daily lives, and through the people he sends us angels in our times of need.

The Holy Spirit sustains each health care worker at the frontlines, each rescuer braving raging floods, every law enforcer protecting people in grave danger, every friend or counselor who helps people suffering from depression or anxiety, every caring citizen who donates in cash or kind so that another can have food, clothing, or shelter, and in every Christian living his or her new normal imitating Christ.

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