After the first sin was committed, a groan was heard for the first time. Adam groaned in his labors; Eve groaned in her labor pains (see Gn 3:16, 19). Both groaned when they saw the first dead body ever; the body of their son Abel, murdered by his brother Cain (Gn 4:8). These groanings grew increasingly worse until the whole world groaned.
Eventually, there came a Man Who groaned like the rest of us, but also unlike the rest of us. His name was Jesus. Like us, He groaned because of His sufferings and those of others. Unlike us, when Jesus groaned, things got better instead of worse. For example, Jesus groaned and said " 'Ephphatha!' (that is, 'Be opened!')," and at once a deaf-mute could speak and hear (Mk 7:34-35). When Jesus groaned, it was different. Finally, He groaned when He died on the cross (see Mk 15:37). This resulted in Jesus' Resurrection, His Ascension, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit, like Jesus, groans in a different way. When He groans, He makes intercessions for us (Rm 8:26). This results in conversion, forgiveness, repentance, healings, freedom, and new life. "We ourselves, although we have the Spirit as first fruits" (Rm 8:23), continue to groan inwardly. However, it is different now. "The sufferings of the present" seem "to be as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us" (Rm 8:18).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2011 through November 30, 2011.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Bishop-Elect, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 26, 2011 (for 10-1-2011 through 11-29-2011) and May 26, 2011 (for 11-30-2011).