The Slain Lamb Wins!
Some have it rougher than others. Trish had
three children, Melissa, Michael and Brian.
In 1983, her husband Michael John committed
suicide. "He was the love of my life,
I never remarried… As an RN with three young
children and no partner, those important
years were overwhelming and often very lonely."
Melissa was a very beautiful girl "drop-dead
gorgeous blond with hazel green eyes".
Her teen years were a real roller coaster.
Later on they found out she was bipolar.
She fell in love with Phil, and became pregnant
with Joseph. Then she moved out of the house.
Quickly, she became pregnant again with another
There was no way these two young parents
could survive. In fact they split up. Melissa
started living a vagabond existence, dragging
the babies around. "I can still see
the night she left my house with them, walking
away and saying, 'you'll never see them again'."
The State took her children and put them
in a foster home. Again tragedy struck. The
husband of the foster mother accidentally
shot himself in the garage.
Then the catastrophe. When at work, Trish
was called to the Human Resources office.
The police were there. They informed her
that "my little girl was dead. Found
hanging in the stairwell of her apartment
from a coat rail with a bathrobe belt around
But it was not yet over for this young mother.
Just fourteen months later, her younger son
Brian was killed instantly in a car crash.
It was a foggy night on a rural road near
home. His last were "But, mom, it was
an accident!" He was a risk-taker and
didn't calculate consequences. He was 16.
Now Trish, the mother, and her son Michael,
is what is left of this family of five…
Yes, Jesus can be very difficult to understand.
Many times in the Gospels, we find the disciples
grappling to comprehend what Jesus is saying
or why he is acting in such a way. They are
At one point, the evangelist even tells us
that many turned their back on Jesus and
no longer wanted to be with him. Apparently,
he was not troubled, "Do you want to
go also?" he asked the twelve.
I do not pretend to have an answer. Jesus
himself says, that "no one can come
to me unless it is granted by the Father."
Faith is a gift.…
And yet… A couple of months ago I was corresponding
with this friend of mine who just could not
stomach her husband any more and she was
adamant that her happiness lies in leaving
"What can I really say?" I wrote
back. "I can understand the pain and
the anger and the helplessness of the situation.
I can empathize with you and I can understand
also that the only solution that presents
itself is "what's the heck? ... Let's
get out of this hell and start living! Why
should I endure this torture any more? I
have been created for happiness and this
is sheer torment."
"Yes, God, God, God… but, really, what's
the use?! You, Father Pius will abide by
the standard conventional thinking and will
urge me to have patience and stay put...
How I wish I can disappear, or he disappears.
How I wish that my children are a little
bit older so that I can leave."
"What can I tell you?" I continued.
"I am not married. I am not living with
your husband. Talk is cheap…"
"But perhaps, I can say something. What
if God is not so stupid and He planned your
marriage flawlessly? What if God is not insensitive
to your suffering? What if this marriage
is not a curse but -may I say it? - a gift.
What if God is making a mature woman of you
through this suffering?"
"In the neo-catechumenal way, my catechists
taught me that the cross only appears in
our life because we need it. It deflates
our pompous ego. It puts us in our true dimension.
It forces us to raise our eyes to Him."
"I know this is true because the cross
did tremendous good to me personally…"
Yes, in life there is more than what our
tiny, minute brain can understand. We need
to pass from a God we created to a God who
In August, Pope Benedict said something that
really touched me. He was making a commentary
on the Book of Revelations and he noted how
the Lamb, even when slain, instead of lying
fallen on the ground remains paradoxically
standing firmly on his feet. With the resurrection,
the Pope explains, he has vanquished death
"In this way, the visionary wishes to
tell us: Have confidence in Jesus, do not
be afraid of opposing powers, of persecution!
The wounded and dead Lamb conquers! Follow
Jesus, the Lamb, trust Jesus, follow his
way! Even if in this world he seems to be
the weak Lamb, he is the victor!"
We cannot let our weaknesses or sufferings
make us run from God. On the contrary, let
us dash to Him. Jesus Christ is the one who
can truly meet our needs because He's 'been
there, dealt with that'.
Some things will never make sense. But let
us say it more strongly neither does God's
love make sense!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright