Made for more
Bigger and better. The ceaseless pursuit for more, for different. It’s in the air we breathe, almost imperceptible because we are so used to it. And yet, at the heart of this seemingly unquenchable desire, isn’t there also a promise?
C.S. Lewis wrote in his book Mere Christianity, “The Christian says, ‘Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food…. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.’”
Where the Father’s deepest desire meets our own
If then we know that we’re made for more, what holds us back from seeking our heart’s deepest desire? From Adam and Eve, to the disciples hiding in the Upper Room, to the depths of each of our hearts – although the symptoms may look different – the root cause remains the same: shame, guilt, and fear.
On the cross, taking all shame, all guilt, all fears into himself, Jesus died and rose to reveal the divine anecdote: mercy. There is only requirement that opens our hands to receive: faith. It is the willingness to believe that God’s truest, deepest desire for us is peace here and now, and life with him forever.
Do we believe in the power of forgiveness?
Look to the Gospels, and you will see in the very human figures of Peter and Mary Magdalene responses to Jesus’ death and resurrection that directly correspond to their ability to receive his mercy.
Mary Magdalene was glued to the foot of the cross. Unwilling to leave Jesus alone in the tomb, hers was the first recorded encounter with him after the resurrection. She, who had repented and received his forgiveness, had moved so far beyond her past that she knew the only place she belonged was with Jesus, the Son of God. How great was her faith!
Peter, who had rejected Jesus, refusing to admit that he was even associated with him, must have been stricken in shame. Yet in response to Mary Magdalene’s report, he RAN to the tomb. For his faith and trust in the goodness of God, he received not only mercy but was entrusted with leadership of all of Jesus’ flock!
Jesus’ death and resurrection and my life
Scripture is the living Word of God, eternally relevant and applicable to our life today. Where are we in this Biblical story?
Are we like Mary Magdalene, ready and eager to receive his love and to give ourselves wholeheartedly in response?
Are we with the disciples, locked in the Upper Room, disappointed, perhaps even resentful, that the God of our imaginings is not the real God at all?
Or are we like the Pharisees, creating elaborate justifications and explanations for the empty tomb, ready to believe anything rather than admit the truth: that Jesus’ death and resurrection are necessary for my own salvation?
This Sunday, the Church invites us to the culmination of the Easter Octave, Divine Mercy Sunday. May we receive this beautiful invitation with great joy and boundless trust. May our hearts echo the song of praise from Lamentations 3:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.