In the Gospel today, Jesus tells his disciples to keep the faith and not worry. They still ask “where are you going? Can we come along? How do we get there?” Jesus says, “where I am going you know the way”. We know the way, too. But, the way is not always an easy path to travel. Because the way takes us through a conversion of our heart. It begins with our own crucifixion – travels through forgiveness – and ends being filled with compassion and mercy.
Whoever dares to follow Jesus will undergo crucifixion. We suffer will suffer the same fate as Jesus. Satan used misunderstanding, ignorance, and jealousy to kill Jesus. So, why wouldn’t he use them to take us down a dark path of spiritual death? After all, some point in life, we can be misunderstood, envied, and even hated. It can lead to persecution or false accusation, and eventually being nailed to a cross. But that’s where resurrection comes in. Through our crucifixions we die to our old self – but then rise again with a new heart that God forms to show compassion and the ability to forgive. Through our crucifixions we are born to a new life.
Forgiveness lies at the core of our Christian faith. Remember, Jesus extended His forgiveness even when dying on the cross – even praying to His Father asking to forgive them. Jesus didn’t hang on to bitterness or anger. He showed grace and love to those who wronged Him. The ability to forgive requires humility with the desire to understand each other and reconcile – no matter who is at fault. Choosing to forgive doesn’t condone sin. It doesn’t excuse the wrongs done to us. Nor does it make the hurts go away. Offering forgiveness simply frees us to enjoy God’s mercy by inviting Him to accomplish beautiful works of peace within our hearts to restore grace in our relationships with others. Forgiving demonstrates our humbleness and expresses our trust in God that everything will be OK.
As followers of Christ, we don’t have to ask how to get to the Father’s house. We know the way because Jesus showed us. It’s a journey that begins and ends in our heart. A heart which undergoes conversion filled with compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and the burning desire to help others. The question is – do we want to make that journey?
In the spirit of this Easter Season, may we always remember that resurrection trumps crucifixion, and none of us who are crucified for Christ stays in the tomb for long. God will always roll back the stone so we can be born again with a heart that wants nothing more than to just be content with our life as it is – and love our God more than anything else. We know the way to the Father. The only question we must ask ourselves is do we have the courage and faith to take that first step to get there?
As we face each day with new uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic, may we be thankful for the blessings God has given us, grateful for the families and friends we are isolated from, and mindful of those less fortunate than ourselves.
Psalm 20, “A prayer for the king’s victory”:
May the Lord answer in this time of trial; may the name of Jacob’s God protect you.
May he send you help from his shrine and give you support from Zion.
May he remember all of your offerings and receive your sacrifice with favor.
May he give you your heart’s desire and fulfill everyone of your plans.
May we ring out our joy at your victory and rejoice in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your prayers.
I am sure now that the Lord will give victory to the anointed,
will reply from his holy heaven with the mighty victory of his hand.
Some trust in chariots and horses, but we in the name of the Lord.
They will collapse and fall, but we shall hold and stand firm.
Give victory to the king, O Lord, give answer on the day we call.
The prayer after the Psalm reads:
Lord, you accepted the perfect sacrifice of your Son upon the cross. Hear us during this time of trouble and protect us by the power of his name, that we who share in his struggle on earth may merit a share in his victory. God has crowned his Christ with victory! Amen