God is for us!
Whenever I hear the phrase of St. Paul from his Letter to the Romans: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (8:31), I picture God cheering us on.
We are here, playing out our lives, seeking to move towards a goal that is more or less the dream God’s heart cherishes for us. We seek in a million different ways to find happiness. In the game plan of our lives we have to take into account those things that might become obstacles in our path or that might even seek to derail us: unexpected tragedy or illness, changes in career or financial instability, a divorce, struggle with temptation or addiction, the sadness of family difficulties.
God is on our side as we strategize how best to find authentic joy. God is there for us, not as a cheerleader, but more like the coach Frank Hall at Chardon High, the high school in Ohio where three students died after a shooting in the cafeteria last week. As kids ducked under tables, Hall ran toward the shooter and chased him out of the school. A student spoke of the teacher’s courage by saying that the job of the teacher, if someone comes in and shoots, is to put their life on the line. The students saw their teachers do that, and they realized that when their coach said he would do anything for them, he meant it.
Jesus put his life on the line for us. In his life and death on the cross he challenged the power of evil and sin and death. God took our side. He “took the bullet” for us. He went all the way. Through his death and resurrection, through our sharing in the power of the mystery of his death and resurrection, we are promised a life that will never end, a place of honor, of belonging, of homecoming in the Trinity, as sons and daughters of the Father and brothers and sisters of the Son.
The title we are featuring, Cherished by the Lord, offers 100 meditations for those who want to find new meaning in life, who want to live the deeper mystery of both the good times and the tragic, who want to discover truly how cherished, how loved, they are. These short scriptural meditations are for those who have difficulty believing, but who truly want to know with certainty, that God is on their side, and that no matter what happens in life, nothing and no one has the power anymore to snatch them from the refuge of God’s love.