This is the difference maker. This is the answer to the question of how can God allow [insert latest tragedy or evil]. If this is it....meaning if this life is all that there is...then the tragedies and injustices and horrors that sometimes seem to surround us can indeed overwhelm us. But this is NOT it. There is more...there is Eternity. This is but a stage...a visit...a temporary home. And our Faith hinges on The Resurrection.
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised ; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:13-14
The Apostles were left staring into the clouds...lost in the rapture of that moment..seeing their risen Lord lifted up into Heaven. But He sent His Messengers to gently chastise them. "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky?" (Acts 1:11a) Your lives are not over. This is not the end. Life is still going on...and you are to live it. There is reason and purpose in this life. There is good in it...good to be done...good to be experienced. There is much to learn...there is growing to do. And this is the nursery where we have been placed. This is where the seeds of who we will become have been planted...and so we must grow...we must move...we must live.
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
~ John 10:10b
The Descent of the Holy Spirit
Of course we can't do this alone. Plants can't grow without water...without sun...without roots. And so while this life is meant to be lived...we can't succeed...we can't overcome...we can't flourish without help...and specifically without His help. That is why He sent the Holy Spirit. That is why He chose to share His power with us in this way. And what power it is!
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away ; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you....But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth ; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak ; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine ; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.
~ John 16:7,13-15
Mary's Assumption reassures us...reinforces our Faith. Through her we again see the Truth...we see the truth of Christ's promise that there IS life beyond this world...that there is more. In many ways she is the first of us to reach Eternity. What a beautiful love between Christ and His Mother. He preserves her...protects her...and ensures that corruption will not touch her in any way. No physical corruption...and certainly no spiritual corruption.
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
~ Acts 1:14
The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth
If ever we doubted our value in the eyes of God, here we see The Creator make one of His creatures Queen....Queen of Heaven and of Earth. Even the angels who are greater than humans acknowledge her as their queen. Of course we are not Mary....we have not been kept pure as she...nor do any of us live in such complete cooperation with Christ as Mary did. But she is no less our model...no less our example of how to submit to God's will. And so we lift her up...and we are filled with hope. And we see God Our Father lift her up...and we are filled with greater Hope still.
A great sign appeared in heaven : a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars ; 2 and she was with child ; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth....And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron ; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God....
~ Revelations 12:1-2,5-6
And Mary said, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord ; may it be done to me according to your word."
~ Luke 1:38
I am tired of sin in my life. I am tired of falling and getting back up. I am tired of failing. And so, though I know I will still sin...and still fall...and still fail...I recommit myself this day (and everyday...and every moment...hereafter) to live for God. I want to live boldly...fully...without fear...according to His will in every area of my life. This is truly my heart's cry. Help me, Father. Help me to live as You desire....help me to be who You created me to be. In Your Son's name I pray....Amen!