Before Jesus could rise above death, he had to “go through” death. He couldn’t “go around” death. He had to engage and encounter death, and embrace the sacrifice and the self-giving that death required. He was able to do this because of his obedience to the Father, whom he loved and trusted. Jesus rose above death by going through it.
When we face the trials and the hardships life gives us, we must have the same faith in God. In order to “rise above it all” we must have the faith to go through our trials, rather than around them. We must embrace the suffering and self-sacrifice this requires.
Take the pandemic for example. We could not rise above it if we tried to go around it. By pretending it really didn’t exist. By not taking it seriously. By ignoring it. We are able to rise above it by engaging it. Wearing a mask. Washing our hands. Staying away. Keeping safe. Going through it involved self-sacrifice as we tried to keep others safe. We embraced the sacrifice because of our trust in God and the example of Christ. We are able to rise above it.
Take also the injustice we have become more aware of this past year. We cannot rise above the injustice by going around it. By denying it. By being complacent in the face of it. We must engage our own unjust attitudes and actions. We must engage the injustice. We must involve ourselves in doing what we can to create a more just society. Our love of God and trust in God will allow us to embrace all the sacrifices we make in “going through” the injustice that surrounds us. We can rise above it!
This is true for all the hardships we face in life. As I have done in past years, I will place the Easter Connecting Point card distributed at Masses on my bathroom mirror. Early each day, it will remind me to pray for the faith in God and love for Jesus that will help me encounter whatever trials I may be facing that day. Following the example of the Risen Christ, shining through in all of his glory, is the way I can rise above it all!
Every year we create premium Connecting Point cards that you can take with you or keep in a conspicuous spot to be reminded of this message the entire year. Since many are worshipping at home, we are happy to mail these to you. Take one for yourself and take a couple to give to others!