Monday, March 11, 2013

The Third Day

“Come, let us return to the LORD; it is He who has rent, but He will heal us; He has struck us; but He will bind our wounds. He will revive us after two days; on the third day He will raise us up, to live in His presence. Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD; as certain as the dawn is His coming, and His judgment shines forth like the light of day! He will come to us like the rain, like spring rain that waters the earth.”

Tomorrow, we enter the Promised Land by way of the Mass. As we look forward to it, so too does our passage have us look forward to our Lord’s second coming: “As certain as the dawn is His coming, and His judgment shines forth like the light of day!” It is not threatening—as it was on Mt. Sinai. No, His coming for us is to be looked forward to. We are “two-faced:” On the one hand, we pray that His kingdom come, but we do not really desire that He come now. If we do not desire Him to come now, when do we desire Him to come? in our children’s time? our grandchildren’s time? never? Come now, Lord Jesus; come now! “He will come to us like the rain, like spring rain that waters the earth.” He will not come to us like a thunderstorm, like a tornado, or hurricane; He will come like the gentle spring rain.

But who is the “us”? Is it all humans? No, “us” means those who rent their hearts, the baptized, the humble. For the unbeliever, His coming will be fearful, even terrifying. Unlike them, the Christian yearns for His coming, it is then that we will be like Him.

Because His coming is certain, let us return to the LORD. Our passage informs us that it is the LORD who rents us. If we do not grieve because of our sins, we must ask the LORD to cause us to grieve. When He causes us to grieve over sins, He will heal us. “When He strikes us, He will bind our wounds,” for He strikes us in order to save us. He is not desirous that any of us should perish. He will revive us after two days; on the third day He will raise us up, to live in His presence.” Tomorrow is the third day.

Until our Lord returns, the Sunday Mass is the third day; every other day is the two days. Therefore, we can rejoice in our tribulations, as did the apostles and the saints who have gone before us. “Let us know the LORD,” and then let us strive to know Him more.

When I strive to attain heaven, heaven is always beyond my grasp. When I seize to strive, heaven is beyond my grasp. I find heaven within my grasp in the Mass, when I “know” Christ, and when I strive to know Him more. It is then that I find myself striving to live in obedience—not because I feel I have to, but because I desire to, for it is in His Son that the Father is pleased. I do not have to try to become one of His sons, for I am His son in Baptism. When I become “lost” due to sin, I become “found” when I go to the confessional.

How great we have it as Catholics! In the Mass, we physically meet our Lord Jesus Christ. Not only do we meet Him, we receive Him—body, soul, and divinity—in us. Every other food we receive into bodies is dead or dies when it enters our stomach. Food is necessary for us to live, but it cannot keep us alive. Our Lord died once, never to die again. When He enters into our stomach, He does not die; He continues to live—that we may continue to live, never to die! T.T.