Trust God’s authority to turn Good Friday into Easter

| Father Charles Lachowitzer | September 10, 2015

Two workers from an electric company had orders to put up power poles in a local farmer’s pasture. Unfortunately, when they got to the farmer’s house, he ordered them to get off his land.

They showed him a set of papers proving they were given a legal right to put up those poles. The farmer stormed off and the workers walked through his land.

A short while later, a huge, angry bull with thundering hooves came barreling through the field, sending the workers running for their lives. The old farmer sat on the fence and yelled, “Show him your papers!”

The farmer had the authority to throw trespassers off his property.  When the workers did not listen, he used a greater power. I’m sure that eventually the electric company used a greater power, too: the power of law.

It is estimated that at the time of Jesus, there were more than 600 religious laws. It was the job of the religious leaders, who could read and write, to interpret the law of God as found in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. The problem was that the focus of the law had become more about punishment than teaching a pathway to a better life. The laws had become a burden, especially for the poor. Punishment for breaking religious laws ranged from being declared unclean to a death sentence.

When Jesus began his public ministry and opened the scroll from the Prophet Isaiah, he revealed that the Messiah is the proclamation of Good News, the liberation of all who are knocked down. Jesus fulfills the law and the prophets and establishes in himself the New Covenant by transforming the authority of the law into the power of good, especially for the powerless.

To follow Jesus is to follow the heart of the Torah, to love God, one another and ourselves. These are the first steps, the first fruits of life in Christ. It is also for us as disciples to ascent freely to live by his teachings as the authority in our lives.

God does not send bad stuff nor does God make it all go away. God sends Jesus — the greater power — to be the help we need to get through anything and everything.  For anyone searching for meaning in an all-too-human Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church that is the sacrament of Christ’s presence on earth, is so much bigger than any member or leader. To follow Jesus is to let no other authority or power — including sin and death — take away one bit of our goodness and dignity.

Moses established the Law of the Covenant to be the authority of God in daily life. We fulfill our side in the Mass, receiving the very Body of Christ, the perfect fulfillment of the law. At Mass, God continues to honor the Covenant and transforms hearts made heavy by the weight of the world. At Mass, our hearts are filled with grace, love and peace so that with the power of God, we go forth to transform what is wrong into what is good.

My mother, God rest her soul, used a variation of an old saying:  “The grace of God can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”

It all comes down to what power rules our lives. Do we give sin too much power and let it rob our lives of joy, hope and communion? Or do we give the power to God, who through the Holy Spirit transforms the tragedy of every Good Friday into the joy of Easter?

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Category: Only Jesus

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