Columns

Jesus lives

Originally Appeared in : 9910-5/9/19

My brother who lives in Ann Arbor called me the other day, eager to tell me something amazing and hilarious he had just witnessed.

 

He was at lunch with one of his employees, dining in one of those establishments that was once a seedy bar and now serves gourmet hamburgers. These days the place is nice enough for business people to stop by for lunch, but definitely still has that watering hole feel.

 

So there sits my brother Josh with his friend from work, eating their fine burgers, when the door opens.

 

“And Rach,” relayed my brother, “in walks a priest. I’m not even lying. And with him are four nuns. The kind of nuns who are wearing the old-school habits.”

 

Josh said he looked over at the priest and nuns and smiled. The priest smiled back and laughing said, “I know, I know. We look like the start of a really good joke.”

 

Sure enough, a priest and four nuns walked into a bar.

 

It’s a hilarious story for sure, and I love that my brother called to tell me about it. And I really love the witness of this priest and these nuns. They are living their vocation with freedom and joy and truly witnessing to those whom they encounter.

 

Here we are a few weeks past Easter Sunday, and I’m still thinking about how Jesus appeared to the apostles after his resurrection. I struggled with this a little this year, because I’ve never thought much about it before now.

 

Jesus died and his apostles watched in agony and fear. He died and was put in a tomb. And three days later he rose from the dead. But (and here’s what I wrestled with) he didn’t appear to everyone. He didn’t come out of his tomb and hover over the city of Jerusalem in blinding white light and in a booming voice tell everyone what had happened.

 

“I rose and you were wrong.” In the movies, this is how things would have ended. The biggest mic drop ever. Jesus dies, and we think things are over, and then he rises and comes out of the tomb, and a sonic boom covers the world.

 

But that’s not how it happened. He didn’t appear to everyone all at once. He only appeared to a few. And then, over the course of several weeks, he quietly appeared to his apostles. Not to everyone but to a few.

 

What our faith requires, I’m realizing more than ever is, well, faith. And not just because we believe something that happened so many years ago. Our faith requires faith because that’s how God designed it. Our faith required this same faith from the very people who spent time with Jesus when he walked this earth. No less was required of them than is required of us.

 

We are the sonic boom of the resurrection. Our belief, the way we live our life, is the great declaration of what God did to conquer sin and death.

 

When a priest and four nuns walk into a bar and with a smile recognize the humor — that is the joy of living faith to the core. That is faith alive.

 

What is Jesus asking of me today to continue to declare the joy of the resurrection? How do I share this message of redemption with the world?

 

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. And help my trust in you, my love for you and what you did for me on the cross,;help that understanding to permeate every single part of my being.

 

Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance wherever I go.

 

Flood my soul with Your spirit and life.

 

Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly, that my life may only be a radiance of Yours.

 

Shine through me, and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul.

 

Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus.

 

Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.

 

The light, O Jesus, will be all from You; none of it will be mine.

 

It will be you, shining on others through me.

 

Let me thus praise You the way You love best, by shining on those around me.

 

Let me preach You without preaching, not by words but by my example, by the catching force of the sympathetic influence of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to You.

 

Amen. — Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman

 

Rachel Balducci is a wife and mother of six. She and her husband Paul are members of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Augusta, GA. Her latest book, Make My Life Simple, is available on Amazon.

 

Go to top