In our thought for the week, Finbar Madden, Principal of Saint Columb’s College, Derry, reminds us, at a time when understandably we may experience a sense of abandonment, that any journey that we have been on, Jesus has travelled before, and now travels again – but this time with us.
The image, of Jesus, is one of the stained-glass windows, from the Oratory of Saint Columb’s College.
Who is this for?
For those who enjoy a short reflection which helps them to acknowledge the presence of God in their lives and in the world.
Thought for the Week – 18 May 2020
With God on our side who can be against us?
Author: Finbar Madden, Principal of Saint Columb’s College, Derry
One of the most understandable reactions to the time of uncertainty through which we are living is a sense of abandonment, the feeling that we have been left alone. This can exist on both an emotional and spiritual sense.
Nothing could be further from the truth! As Pope St John Paul II told us, any journey that we have been on, Jesus has travelled before, and now travels again – but this time with us:
There is no evil to be faced that Christ does not face with us.
There is no enemy that Christ has not already conquered.
There is no cross to bear that Christ has not already borne for us, and does not now bear with us.
And on the far side of every cross we find the newness of life in the Holy Spirit, that new life which will reach its fulfillment in the resurrection.
This is our faith.
This is our witness before the world.
‘Alone with none but thee my God’ – as the hymn reminds us – is exactly what we can expect of the Lord; we are never really alone; He will never abandon us – He never has. We recall the lovely poem – Footprints in the Sand – where the author reflects on their life and notices that when life was good two sets of footprints appeared – theirs and those of the Lord; however, when life was most difficult there was only one set of footprints. Questioning the Lord about His seeming abandonment, the poet was told ‘My precious child, I love you and will never leave you. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.’
Christ Jesus is there for us in the good times – and in the bad! He is there for us when things are easy; most importantly, He is there for us when we are overwhelmed by despair, by fear, by uncertainty, by that sense of abandonment. He is our salvation. Perhaps St Paul puts it best in his Letter to the Romans when he tells us:
With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give.
Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.
For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, nor any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 31-34; 37-39)
Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!