MYSTERIES TO BE LIVED
Sanjith died at 4 pm on Wednesday. He had cancer. His mother used to bring him regularly to the Ashram to pray. Finally, one day the doctor said “only twenty more days”. After approximately ten days, they came to Divine once again. Later, on that Wednesday morning, the mother came alone to pray in the chapel. Being unable to bear the condition of her ailing son, she had left him at home to cry before the Lord. She prostrated before me and sobbed. I had nothing to comfort her at that point. “Leave him now to Jesus” was all I could speak and gave her a small white Rosary for the child. On Thursday, I came to know that he waited till his mother’s return. She gave her water and made a sign of the cross on his forehead with that Rosary and he breathed his last.
While I was about to leave for the Holy Mass on Tuesday, Anisha came running to me. Her uncle was on the ventilator in a tragic state. Doctors had asked to shift him back to home. Uncle Bittu, aged 65 years was suffering from cancer. Her request was “Father, please come and pray. Surely Jesus will heal him”. Bittu and his family are Hindus, who come to Divine for prayers. When I blessed them saying “now pray for a good death”, they still had a hope of an absolute healing. Bittu also died on the next day.
Unexpected traumas of life tend to make a man frail and devastated. Normally, during the joyful days of life, no one would think or like to think about the agony of one’s life. How much does our faith and spirituality help us in looking at the peaks and valleys of this life with a composed view?
Are we using the messages of Jesus and his life for our benefits and temporal comfort? God became man in order that man could accommodate and understand the various dimensions of this life- pleasure, grief, scuffle, temptation, death and revival. But have we yet learned what Jesus tried to impart us? What is the actual dimension of our prayer? Are we not using God according to our whims and fancies?
The Holy family of Nazareth underwent all the struggles and happiness of this life. Jesus also from the very beginning experienced all the ebb and flow of life like a normal human being. The case of the disciples who went along with him was also no different. Even then, why we want to get rid of all these from our lives? Are all problems to be solved? Aren’t a few, mysteries to be lived with?
Jesus taught us to face life courageously- with all its tears. The promise is, “he will be by our side”. Sometimes our talks get reduced to a God who is a Panacea to all our problems and sickness. Are people getting attracted to this? Is that the reason why our faith doesn’t become the ground for us to stand during the time of sickness or death? A couple awaiting and praying for the blessing of the womb since last 12 years. The wife’s soliloquy comes out in the words “If God doesn’t give me a child this year, will my faith waver?” Is not this state because of the vain promises given by all?
Jesus has healed many. Every healing had an aim and intention. But has he healed all the sick? We read about the healing of Peter’s mother in law. Does this imply that no one in the apostle’s household got sick? Jesus brought Lazarus back to life from the tomb. Did Jesus bring back all his dead friends and relatives from the face of the tomb? Also, Jesus calmed the sea and storm. Does this mean that his apostles never had another occasion to face a turbulent sea? Did Jesus appeased the appetite of all?
“If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corin 15:19). Miraculous healing has led many to Jesus, there may also be many who have found Jesus on their sick bed. But how many more are there, who suffer happily? How many are there whose poverty don’t drag them away from Jesus, instead help them to cling on to him and lead a saintly life? What do you expect from God? Let us realize that death itself is a journey when we see God face to face.
If we consider only our problems and pray merely for our selfish needs, then it is sure that we are not in a state to associate the problems of the entire world and that of humanity to God. We are not bothered about the acute poverty, epidemic, massacre, injustice or the evil ethics of our society till the time they knock our doorstep. These are all parts of the imperfections of this life. This is not the world without illness and death. The Father of Jesus knows our cares before we ask him. He makes the sun to shine on good and evil people alike. You won’t get sick or die without his knowledge. If your faith is strong, death or sickness will never take you away from him. But you will live these mysteries courageously. “I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” (Jn16:33)
Fr.Dr. John Puthenpurackal V.C.