We all have obstacles preventing us from fully receiving the love God wants to give us, sins that block the flow of grace to us. The life of a Christian is one long process of restoration. Our Father constantly invites us to give every part of our lives over to Jesus so He can redeem our brokenness, every wound, every sin, and transform us into Himself. The process is long and often painful. We need to learn to trust Him with the parts of our hearts that have been trampled on, hoping that His promises are true… That He is the way and the life, that He is the Truth, and that the TRUTH will set us free.
When we tell God, “please come into my life, please take away this sin that is hurting me, that is hurting those I love,” He comes right up to that wall we spent so much time building up, that wall that is keeping us from feeling the pain we are not ready to deal with…and he knocks. We hear Him calling; we want to let Him in, but we cannot find a door. There was a door there once, but we sealed it shut. In trying to keep the pain away, what we did is block ourselves from receiving the only thing that can heal us…the love of God.
This encounter with Truth is a moment of tension. On one side of the wall, we are trapped, oppressed, burdened by our sin. On the other side is God, calling us to come to Him, asking us to let Him break down the wall. But we are attached to the wall. It has become our comfort, our support. And even though it hurts us, it is scary to think it won’t be there anymore. What will happen to the parts of us that are attached to the wall? How will we get through the pain of that separation, of that stripping away of all the things we placed as substitutes for God? So God patiently waits and lets us wrestle with Him until we reach the point of surrender and finally say,
Mary, who had no walls between her and God, silently offers these words with every breath of her life. Never is that silence more eloquent than when her heart speaks them at the foot of the Cross. It is there that her Immaculate Heart is pierced open with pain for each one of us, her children. It is there where she brings us when we hold her hand in prayer, to a place of encounter with Her Son.
Today, as we begin the month of May, the Church invites us to walk with Mary, “our life, our sweetness, and our hope.” It also lifts our eyes to St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse. Pondering on this Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, we see that the rest found in God is not one of inactivity but one of life and creativity. We find rest when we take up His yoke. We find rest when we surrender to God.
With Mary, at the foot of the Cross, we find the strength and courage to surrender. It is there where we find our rest. This rest is not something we can provide for ourselves; it is the gift He wants to give us. And, although we live in the hope that one day we will be in a place of eternal rest in Heaven, where there will be no more sorrow or pain, we can experience His peace while we are still in this valley of tears. At the Last Supper, Jesus says:
What did Jesus leave us during the Last Supper? The Eucharist, the gift of Himself …His Body broken for us… His Blood poured out for us…
We know how the story ends, so we give thanks. We know the promises are fulfilled; we know the tears are wiped. When we look at the Cross and see the price paid for us, we hear Him say to each one of us:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
There is no reason to despair; no part of you is broken beyond repair.
You are worthy of restoration. “Come to me… and I will give you rest.”