Trust God’s love – now

An old hymn, “Hail Thee, Festival Day,” includes the line, “from the death of the winter arising.” What a perfect description of spring. Winter does look like death. We have seen the bare limbs on trees, dead leaves on the ground, no sign of flowers. Some statistics indicate more people die in winter than any other season.

Spring is about life. The earth comes back to life. We celebrate Christ coming back to life at Easter, a qualitatively different kind of life. The body of Christ wasn’t raised so that he could die again. He wasn’t resuscitated. The old body didn’t start to breathe again. Christ was given a glorified body, a body never to die again, a body no longer limited by time and space.

That’s what we look forward to. Death is not our destiny. Death is just a moment of transition.

My late brother-in-law, Mike, loved to travel. His sister, Dorothy, rarely travelled. She would say, “I have all eternity to see all of that.” She’s right.

Our news is always filled with stories of death and destruction and mayhem. We celebrate life, but death seems to grab more forcefully. As I would often say in my years on the radio: “Evil seems to have a better public relations firm.”

It’s hard to imagine a story worse than the end of the life of Jesus. His friends abandoned him. Religious leaders condemned him. Civil authorities executed him. Yet, through all the darkness, Jesus kept his faith in his Father. And he triumphed over evil and death. And so will we.

The key to trusting God’s power after death is to trust his power during life. There’s a wonderful meditation from an Alcoholics Anonymous publication which goes: “God irradiates your life with the warmth of his spirit. We must open up like a flower to this divine irradiation. Loosen your hold on earth, its cares, and its worries. Unclasp your hold on material things, relax your grip, and the tide of peace and serenity will flow in. Relinquish every material thing and receive it back again from God. Do not hold onto earth’s treasures so firmly that your hands are too occupied to clasp God’s hands as he holds them out to you in love.”

We don’t have to wait until we die to experience God’s love. Sometimes we are so busy looking around that we don’t look within or look up. God is not a judge waiting to condemn us but a loving Father wanting to save us. Evil is not as strong as God. Death is not as strong as God. All we have to do is to trust God’s love right now. We don’t have to wait until death.

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Father Joseph Breighner

Father Joseph Breighner

Father Joseph Breighner is a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and a columnist for the Catholic Review.