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Broken? – Stanza XI – Part I

October 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Becky Ward, Broken

You never said it would be easy,
following Your footsteps here.
In fact You promised pain and sorrow;
much suffering for those who persevere.

pieta4It was an enlightening moment of my formation when I first heard Fr. Pinto, founder of the Disciples of Jesus and Mary, say that believing in Jesus doesn’t mean simply believing that He exists, (Which is pretty much where I was at the time.), it means putting our trust in Him and believing that He WILL DO what He has promised to do.

In the CATHOLICISM series Fr. Barron articulates the badly informed understanding of many, that God is a distant being who kind of put the world in motion and sits back to see what will happen. It’s not difficult to see why people would have a hard time believing in a God like that. Fr. Barron also presents the distinction between Christianity and other religions by looking closely at ‘that moment’ when Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” This really is a key moment because, rather than being a holy man who had a great idea about how we should live, or a certain ‘way’ of being, Jesus asks us to believe in Him. He uses the words “I am”, which would have reminded those with Him of the words God said to Moses when he asked, “Who should I say sent me?” The point here is that Jesus is asking us to believe in Him rather than in some idea or philosophy. No one else has done that. So, either Jesus really is who He says He is, the Son of God, or He’s the worst fraud and liar ever to walk the earth.

After receiving varied responses to this first question, Jesus asks, “But who do you say that I am?” We recognize the birth of the Church in the discourse that follows.

Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:16-18

Catholics can trace an unbroken chain of succession of Popes from these words of Jesus to Peter, through the entire history of the Church, to Pope Francis who holds the ‘Chair of Peter’ today. This was news to me!! I had not been taught much Church history, or been exposed to much persecution for being Catholic in my small home town. I had no need for apologetics, if I had known what it was.  But how cool to learn these things, even at a mature age! Knowing this, I can’t understand people wanting to belong to any other Christian denomination…except, as it has often been in my own life, they are ignorant of the facts.

Jesus knew this confusion would happen; He’s God, and God knows it all! It’s not a surprise to Him, and He did warn us that we would have difficulty in the world. He also promised that He would be with us through it all…..always!

The story of “The Rich Man” in Mark’s gospel contains two little words that are absent from this story in the accounts of both Matthew and Luke.

Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. Mark 10:29-30

While it may not sound like a good thing, persecution is often a sign that we are on the right track. I belong to two different ministry groups who laugh about this when things start going wrong. “It’s a good sign,” as St. Teresa of Avila said, when the devil wants to stop us from doing something good. When we persevere and don’t let the evil one’s obstacles derail us from our goal, we are usually rewarded with an abundance of fruit, many blessings, and great beauty from whatever endeavor we were working on.

Where else but in Christianity would you find people laughing about things going very wrong in a project?!

Love & Prayers,

Becky

This post is part of a series. The introduction and other articles from the series can be found here once they have been published. They can also be found at Tending The Vineyard.

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About Becky Ward

Becky is a wife, mother of four (One in heaven), grandmother of five, and a "re-formed Catholic" who, after receiving the gift of a deep conversion in 2006, and working through the Disciples of Jesus and Mary faith formation program, now considers herself to be "fully Catholic" What this means is that she now, at last, understands and appreciates the beauty of the Catholic faith in such a way that she wants to share it with everyone. "I've heard that the Blessed Mother told a visionary, 'If Catholics really lived their faith, the whole world would be Catholic.' I see the truth in this, and it is my deepest hope to be a living example that draws others to Jesus. Given the nickname Rebel-Becca by her mother, Becky strongly identifies with St. John the Baptist and his call to "make straight the path of the Lord", and with his role as "Friend of the Bridegroom". The poem, "Broken?" written through her hand, is a reflection of the journey of the soul, and Becky explains what the Holy Spirit is teaching her as she writes posts for each stanza.

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  • frtrue75@att.net

    Thanks, Becky, for a timely thought. I am learning, little by little, the meaning of salvfic suffering. God bless you. Donald

    • Becky Ward

      Thank you for your kindness. God is good!

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