It is true. “The tragedy of our humanity is that while we can see that our ways won’t work, still we hesitate to take God’s way.” I do not know who said these words but they make a lot of sense.
There was a mayor in Calcutta, India at the times of colonialism, who was very compassionate and did much to clean up vast areas of the slums, replacing shacks with neat cottages and apartments. “Sometimes I walk around the remaining wretched sections of the city late at night and I say to myself, `If only the people would let me, I could do anything for them.’ But they won’t let me. They are used to their filth, and cling to it, though it kills them off like flies.”
Jesus must have the same feeling. If we let Him, He can do anything for us. He can even clean up our lives and free us from fear and anxiety. However, a lot rotates around that little phrase ‘if we let Him’.
Sometimes Jesus tries to get us by means of failures. Since he notices that success pumps us into gloating pathetic superegos, he tries to search us out through fiascos. At the last supper Peter boasts that he would never betray Jesus, but a few hours later he denies even knowing Jesus. His days after the crucifixion must have been filled with remorse and self doubt.
But that experience of failure changed Peter forever. His illusions about his own strength and ability vanishes, but in their place there was a new thrust in God’s pardon and love that empowered him beyond his wildest imaginations. In the Acts of the Apostles, we see Peter courageously proclaiming Jesus as Messiah, even in the face of hostility, harassment and ultimately, his own death.
Mark Ruffalo, 35 had his share of disappointments in life. He had a difficult upbringing in a family which eventually broke apart, he tasted real poverty when his dad’s company collapsed, he lost his best friend (26 years old) to suicide, he toiled for more than a decade trying to make it as an actor (more than 800 auditioning!) and getting nowhere… Finally, in the year 2000 he made a breakthrough through his superb acting in the movie ‘You can count on Me’, followed later by the ‘Last Castle’ and ’13 Going On 30′.
Soon after he married fellow actress Sunrise Coigney and a year later had his first son Keen. Then his world came crashing down. After completing the movie ‘The Last Castle’ with Robert Redford, Ruffalo was diagnosed with brain tumor. He underwent surgery which left the left part of his face paralyzed.
When interviewed recently in Parade magazine, his words revealed a lot of good judgment, “Looking back, everything that seemed a curse was really the best possible thing, even my tumor. I had a whole year with my son and wife, every waking hour. There is a living you are forced to do when you are ill, a constant expanding of what you thought you were capable of being. I would not give any of it back. I have learned that even in sorrow, there is joy.”
His next film is Collateral, a crime drama starring Tom Cruise.
John Calvin was a French protestant theologian and a major figure of the so called ‘reformation’. He was not especially kind to the Catholics, however he was correct when he wrote, “The godly man knows that his life hangs only on a thread . . . living in a world as if he were sailing a tempestuous and dangerous sea; nevertheless . . . he bears patiently all his troubles and sorrows, and comforts himself in his afflictions because he leans wholly upon the grace of God.”
We need the grace of God. Jesus used a fantastic image to describe this power. He says kingdom power is like yeast. Put a pinch of yeast in a little bit of dough and watch it grow into a big, superb loaf of bread. What power!
Just put a little bit of God into your life, even a tiny crumb, and God’s life will expand your existence and you will become more and more the person God intends you to be.
This is called Kingdom Power! It is a power available to each of us.
Faith is the resurrection of Christ never misleads us, comments Bede The Venerable, and hope in our resurrection never deceives, because God the Father, who restored our Lord to life, will revamp us to a new life by virtue of his power.
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