Gideon asked: "If the Lord is with us, why has all this" misfortune "happened to us?" (Jgs 6:13) God simply answered: "I shall be with you" (Jgs 6:16). Jesus' disciples "were completely overwhelmed" (Mt 19:25) at His "impossible" demands (Mt 19:26). Jesus' answer was: "I am with you always" (Mt 28:20).
Humanity is in a rough spot. We have a fallen nature, a twisted heart (Jer 17:9), and are prone to self-deception. God doesn't throw money at our problem, enroll us in self-help classes, or simply eliminate our problems. God's answer is to send us Jesus, " 'Emmanuel,' a name which means 'God is with us' " (Mt 1:23).
We need relief from suffering; Jesus is with us in our suffering to strengthen us and guide us safely through our crosses. We need money; Jesus is with us as our Wealth (Phil 3:8). We are victims; Jesus is with us as a fellow Victim, our "Vindicator" (Jb 19:25), and "our Justice" (1 Cor 1:30). The Lord is with us as our Love (1 Jn 4:8), Peace (Eph 2:14), Strength (Phil 4:13), Counselor (Jn 14:26), Wisdom (1 Cor 1:30), Life (Jn 11:25), and our All.
Would you rather have good health, or the God of health? Would you rather have a life with no problems, or God with you amid your problems? Would you rather have the supplies you need, or the God Who can supply all things? (Phil 4:19) To prefer the loot instead of the Lord is to live a preview of hell, that is, a life without God (see Catechism, 1035). The great reward of heaven is not riches, but being with the Lord forever. Choose Him now.
|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 August 1, 2007 through September 30, 2007.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 14, 2007.