June 7, 2020
My dear friends in Christ,
I had chicken pox three years ago. When I went through it, it was not an easy experience. You feel so exhausted and devoid of physical energy. When bodily exhaustion takes over, your spiritual self is affected too. Though I was praying regularly, it was not with the usual enthusiasm and energy I could do my spiritual exercises. Certainly, our bodily ailments and pain certainly claim a toll on our spiritual practices.
In general, we all take sicknesses, loss of job, natural disasters or death as something bad and directly opposed to God who is all powerful and who alone has the power to stop them all. We tend to take them sometimes as a punishment for our individual sins. I can certainly assure you that none of these things happen in our lives because of our personal sins. It is a natural consequence of a corrupted and sinful world. As humans, we need to understand them in the right perspective. Whenever we face such terrible things, we all feel so powerless and helpless. Jesus showed through his ministry, how he has power over all such things. He calmed the storm. He restored sight to the blind. Cleansed the lepers. Fed the hungry. Raised the dead. Through all such mighty deeds, he showed us that he has unlimited power over all such dark realities. His presence in our life explicitly shows us that he is bringing us an alternative reality where we are not anymore powerless. He is with us our protector and guide. We need not fear such dark realities of life. These realities that are threatening us now cannot stand too long before the power of God. The mighty deeds of Jesus remind us that the powerful presence of God is constantly present to us through the person of Christ. Whether it is Covid-19 or cancer or job loss or any other threats, we should be responding with the same confidence of St. Paul, “We are afflicted in every way, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4: 8-9). In fact, Jesus promised to all his believers that those who believe in Him will do mightier things than him. Let us trust the Lord who is all powerful is with us right now. He wants to continue to establish His Kingdom on this earth with and through our willful cooperation. As we put our trust in Him and continue to promote the right things in our daily life, we are already overcoming the dark realities of life in little ways. Blessings and healings to each one of you.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Xavier Ilango