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  • Sarah Raad

Beneath

With Grace, I can have the conviction to witness God – How glorious that could be!

Meal of Our Lord and the Apostles (Repas de Notre-​Seigneur et des apôtres) (James Tissot)

The other day, while I was praying for the souls of those who are very very sick, I received the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


The beautiful priest who heard my confession did not say very much. There was nothing out of the ordinary in this confession of mine – it was the same old sins with the same old regret for my terrible weakness and the same old sorrow for my offence to God. But for some reason, during this sacrament, the few words uttered by the beautiful priest who heard it, have remained in my mind…


After the confession of my sins, Father told me… “Well, it would be a good idea to try to get rid of that sin because that one’s beneath you.” It stuck with me… Beneath me. What does that mean?


Beneath my human dignity as a daughter of God… That sin, that temptation to take the easy road, is beneath me. I am better than that! I was made for better things.


It has definitely been food for thought for me.

After all Christ rose from the dead and came to visit with His disciples to call them to WITNESS to Him.

What does this mean, this concept of witness? It is a technical term calling for the proclamation of Christ. But so as to allow His disciples to witness and proclaim Him, first Christ needed to establish two things – relationship and knowledge…


I listened to an Easter Season Homily by my lovely Parish Priest a few weeks ago, and he made an interesting observation. He asked us, “Have you ever noticed how often Christ ate after His resurrection? Either Christ was terribly terribly hungry after He rose from the dead, or else, there is some other purpose for His sharing a meal with His disciples…”


After Christ rose from the dead, we are told in the Bible that He ate four times. One obvious reason for this eating, was to prove that it was the Risen Christ and not a ghost of Christ that was interacting with His disciples. It was Christ risen – body, soul and divinity – who was interacting with His people!


But there is another reason too for this eating, and it is contextual and Biblical, so we often miss its significance in our modern Australian world where there is a McDonalds and KFC on every second street corner and food is relatively cheap and convenient to come by…


And that reason is RELATIONSHIP. When the Risen Christ eats with His Disciples, He establishes His relationship with them. It is this relationship. This personal relationship that drives the apostles to witness and proclaim Christ as God!


Then, comes the second thing that was necessary for the proclamation of Christ… Once the disciples have eaten with Him and established their relationship with Him, they become filled with the Holy Spirit and He teaches them – literally opening their minds to the reality of Sacred Scripture. He teaches them so that they can teachothers.


In this way, Christ’s disciples become His witnesses.

But the disciples are not the only people Christ called to witness for Him. What is my duty in this regard? What is yours?

After all, Christ came to call sinners (Luke 5:32) – and I am one of those. He came to baptise the Earth, not with fire but with water and the Holy Spirit (John 3:5) – and I have been baptised. He came to call us to follow Him, by picking up our Cross (Matthew 16:24-26) – and I, like all of us, have a Cross to carry.


The problem in my mind, is that though I know the truth – I lack conviction in the witness of It… of HIM, my Beloved.


William Butler Yeats, the great realist-symbolist poet of the early 20th century wrote in his poem, “The Second Coming”, “…the best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity…”.


The Venerable Father Fulton Sheen said… “The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.”


“Passionate intensity”, “passionate conviction”…


Perhaps that is my problem right now – I lack the intensity of conviction required to witness to my God…


That is a problem that is also beneath me, for after all, am I not a child of God?


Father John Corapi , who I follow on Social Media says… “In the end, forever, you and I will be in Heaven or Hell. Period.”


With that in mind, perhaps I better ask God for the Grace to start polishing my crown…


Because, without that Grace, I fear I shall be stuck down in the muck, doing things that are beneath me for all eternity…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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