Christ is alive! Hallelujah!
“The beating heart of the Risen Lord is given to us, and we are asked to give it in turn as a transforming force, as the leaven of a new humanity.... Christ is alive! That is what quickened the pace of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. That is what made them return in haste to tell the news (Mt 28:8). That is what made them lay aside their mournful gait and sad looks. They returned to the city to meet up with the others....
I ask you to go back with them to the city. Tell the news in all those places where the grave seems to have the final word*, where death seems the only way out. Let us go back to proclaim, to share, to reveal that it is true: the Lord is alive! He is living and he wants to rise again in all those faces that have buried hope, buried dreams, buried dignity....
Let us go, then. Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by this new dawn and by the newness that Christ alone can give. May we allow his tenderness and his love to guide our steps. May we allow the beating of his heart to quicken our faintness of heart.”
Pope Francis, April 15, 2017
“Then the angel said to the women in reply, ‘Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay…’ Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples.” Matthew 28:5-8
Praises be to You! Death could not keep you in the grave! Only You have the power to conquer death and all that is dark inside of me-- and in this world! MARANATHA! Come quickly Lord Jesus! And give me the grace to proclaim this to all! You are alive! Reign in me! Hallelujah!
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
* Want to read more about conquering “The Tombs” of life? Read this from Google's #1 Stress management expert and RE-VIVE Retreat speaker LAUREN MILLER and register TODAY to come April 13 to Our Lady of Mercy or April 14 to St. Ann!
Are You Stuck in the Tomb? by Lauren Miller
Often times the place we least expect to experience a breakthrough offers the healing we long for in life.
Much of our stress in life flows from the generalizations we make that difficult situations and circumstances in our life will not get better leading to feelings of overwhelm and conclusions that you are stuck with the way things are in this moment.
This stuck felling leads to negative rumination and catastrophizing.
I recently heard an incredible sermon that used the tomb as an analogy for the in-between spaces we find ourselves in on this journey of life. Below are my notes...take what fits for you and release what doesn't =>
The land in between are the tombs in our life where there is no glory when we are trapped in between. Sitting among the ashes.
For some it’s a dashed dream that has crashed down. A promotion became a Passover. We feel the pain of what could have been.
For some it’s loss: loss of someone, loss of hope, loss off relationship. You can’t see what will be.
Death of someone you love, grief is your companion in the land of in between.
Jesus journey doesn’t end at the tomb it ends in triumph . God wants to lead you through the land of in between ... through the tomb.
Read Mark15:46 all disciples and followers left Jesus but Joseph . He stood in the land of in between he knew the full weight of what had been lost. Joseph pressed into the pain. So many of us choose to downplay pain, and are passive about it....be real with your pain bring it to Jesus.
Some of us drown in our pain (with addictions, denial, pretending it isn’t real) and who we are becomes what happens to us. These behaviors trap us in the tomb Jesus wants to deliver us from ... be real with Jesus bring Him everything you want resurrected to him.
Acknowledge the full loss and the full pain to receive healing fully. Press into the pain, acknowledge the weight of what you lost. Be real. It’s the first practice of grit.
Mark 15:43: Joseph of Arimathea WAS waiting he kept waiting even in the face of loss. It was how Joseph waited....we will wait in the land of in between. Don’t wait for the world to change.
Press into pain and be persistent in Hope knowing that the very lowest point in our life becomes the breeding ground for God’s miracles and greatest work.
When we are in the land of in between the enemy will say: “Really? God promised you healing? Look at your situation, it's been so long, if God cared your breakthrough would have already happened. DO NOT GIVE INTO HIS LIES you are NOT your struggle you are a child of the living God and he intends all that you are experiencing at the place of preparation will accomplish a greater good than had the struggle never occurred...the tomb will result in RESURRECTION! Abraham moved through the tomb and trusted God when he brought Isaac before God and God provided a ram and spared Abraham the sacrifice of what he loved most: Isaac.
The scripture, John 8:44 reveals something about our enemy that is important to know as it will help you recognize his voice. He is a father of lies the enemy of your soul is a LIAR his every Aim is to take you down and trap you in the tomb! In the land of in between he will load up an arsenal of lies... don’t believe it... he will whisper to you that the Best has already been and he will take a big old grave stone and guard the ground he gained, keeping you stuck in despair.
If you are trapped in the tomb reflect on this truth: our God has a track record of rolling away the stone that covers your tomb... God is not the God of the tomb he is the God of triumph no matter what you are facing know that God is with you and the Best is yet to come He is the God of new beginnings .... this tomb will become your road to resurrection .... persevere ... He will not abandon you He is on the way!
The scripture Luke 13:35-37 speaks to waiting for Jesus return. It’s an anticipatory waiting and persistent waiting. Psalm 23:14-16 wait for the Lord I know my God’s name, my God is a deliverer who delivers , a provider who provides. I know my God is trustworthy. God is true...that’s a waiting that will carry you through the tomb into the resurrection.
Have a blessed Easter and Passover.