– Ross Belle Santos-Balatbat
For we are buried together with him by baptism into death: that, as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, to the end that we may serve sin no longer.… (Romans 6:4-6)
In our life, we may experience emptiness, feeling worthless in waiting for the coming of Christ. But Jesus’ death on the cross proves how we are loved and how precious we are in the eyes of God. Sometimes we may not understand but at a certain point of our life, we will know that the waiting and the dying have their purpose. In Jesus’ rising is our rising from the death of sin. We acquire a new life in our rising, God becomes truly alive in us.
Pope Francis has said that the Church is a hospital of sinners, and eventually a home of saints in the making. No one is exempted from suffering, but after a crisis there is victory. Beyond Jesus’ death on the cross is His resurrection. Let’s keep God alive in us, by letting go of our old sinful life, and through His grace we can continue to be channels of blessings, so others around us will experience a resurrected Christ in their midst amidst the crisis.
We know Peter was passionate and loved Jesus and was ready to support Him at any cost. But every season of Lent we recall that during Jesus’ ordeal, Peter denied Him three times.
People who become rich and successful seem to have had an easy time. But their success is the result of so many years of their hard work and sacrifice. If we experienced the difficulties and challenges they experienced when they were just starting, we might easily give up. But that’s exactly why they achieved success – they knew that the pathway was hard and rough but they did not give up.
Peter also failed when he denied Jesus. However, Jesus built His Church upon Peter’s rock of solid faith and Jesus’ resurrection is the very foundation of our faith. Good things come not to those who are able to do great things, but to those who persevere after every fall. God doesn’t count our sins but looks forward to our contrite hearts and our efforts in trying hard to be transformed. Everything is a learning process: any time we fall over, he is teaching us to stand up the next time.