Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We Look To You Alone, Lord

By Beth DeCristofaro

Is it not you alone, O LORD, our God, to whom we look?  You alone have done all these things. (Jeremiah 14:22)

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”  (Martha)  said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” (John 11:25-27)

Lord, I am coming to you, soon.  Show me the way.  Help me to show others the way to you, too.

Last week we watched Mary Magdalene’s grief turn to evangelizing as she spoke with and was “commissioned” by the risen Jesus to tell the apostles that she had seen him.  Today Martha, before she witnessed Jesus bringing Lazarus back from death, acclaimed her understanding and acceptance of Jesus’ divinity.  These two remarkable women were in many ways very unremarkable women of their times.  What burned in them was the recognition that God was present, that each had a relationship with Jesus and they were willing to speak their faith aloud.

I knew a funny, big-hearted man who, as he told me, was once a “mean drunk.”  Before he got sober some 30 years before, he described himself as bar hopping to drink and pick fights.  He lost his job, his family and much of his health due to alcoholism.  What brought him back to a more normal life with self-esteem restored was the stunning understanding that he could not beat his addiction alone.  His recovery came when he asked Jesus to help him and he faithfully followed the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous with lots of help from friends who held him accountable.  When I knew Brad (name made up) he was happily remarried and retired from his job of many years because of deteriorating health.

Brad was an unabashed witness to the power of grace in his life.  Ever in pain because of his health, Brad told me that he prayed every morning thanking Jesus for saving him.  He told me that Jesus would ask him “Brad, are you ready to come home today?”  Brad’s answer just made me laugh and cry.  “No, Lord, not today, I’m not ready.  But I’m coming soon!”  I will often pray Brad’s prayer and it never fails to lift me up as he was lifted up.

What does my witness look like each day?  Do I greet the day with gratitude and ask for Jesus’s direction?  Look for the opportunity to witness to your belief in the resurrected Christ.  Say a prayer also for the 141st Women’s Team which is now in formation, preparing to witness to a new group of Cursillistas.

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