Raise Me Up So I Can Serve You.
My utmost desire as a behold the awesome snow-covered valley on the Church’s ground is to go sledding down it. But I also nurse this scare that if I slide down and lose control that I would fall into a ditch and hurt myself and there would be no one to help me up. What if I don’t find someone to help me up? We sometimes find ourselves down the hill and broken. We have all fallen from spiritual and moral heights into the mire of sin and helplessness, even hopelessness and despair. What do we usually do when we find ourselves in this state? We look up to Jesus, hoping for his saving grace. A Christian response to brokenness is to tell Jesus immediately.
When Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew, Peter’s mother-in-law was down with a fever (Mk 1:29-30). Peter looked up to Jesus for help. Jesus grasped Peter’s mother-in-law's hand and raised her up, using the same word used later for his resurrection. The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law foreshadows resurrection but for the moment she is raised up to serve Jesus, to be a follower of Jesus and serve him and his mission. After being raised she began to serve, “she waited on them” (Mk 1:31). This becomes the norm for expressing Christian ministry. Like Jesus who came “not to be served but to serve: (Mk. 10:45), like Peter’s mother-in-law, we are raised from our human weakness to serve the mission of Jesus and his Church.
Job’s cry in the time of suffering was muffled by hopelessness- “I shall not see life again”, he concludes (Jb 7:1-7) but a Christian in dire straits cry with hope to Jesus who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Ps 147: 3). We must look up to Jesus to raise us up. When he raises us up, we are called to serve him and his mission. We are called to bring life and joy to others with the strength and hope we have received from Jesus. As Jesus raises you up, I invite you to SERVE our parish. As you cry to Jesus during this pandemic and time of uncertainty, I echo the words of Josh Groban’s song, “You Raise me Up” that Jesus raises you up so you “can stand on mountains” and “walk stormy seas” and keep you “strong on Jesus' shoulder” as he raises you up to more than you can be.
In Jesus who raises up the weak,
Fr. Bernard, OP