By Fr. Christopher Kubat
“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast … He will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces” (Is 25:6-8).
These beautiful words in the book of the prophet Isaiah attempt to describe what those who have saved their souls with the grace of God will experience in heaven.
Notice God did not promise we will not have tears in this life, but that He would eventually wipe them away. In other words, God never said He would take our crosses away in this life, but that He would help us carry them.
“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Lk 9:23). Of course God is there to help us carry our crosses.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mt 11:28-30). How can the yoke and burden of the cross be light? Only with the grace of God which comes to us directly through the sacraments. This is why it is important to frequently receive them, namely the Blessed Sacrament and confession.
This does not mean we should not do what we can to alleviate suffering in the world. This is a major element of the mission of Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska. On December 6 we celebrated the memorial of St. Nicholas who was the bishop of Myrna in the fourth century, which now is in present-day Turkey. We do not know much about his life but do know he was committed to helping poor families with funds he was able to acquire. This is what we do at CSS.
Just days ago, we admitted to St. Gianna’s a young woman with three small children. She was attacked severely by her abuser who attempted to chew off her fingertips. I personally saw her fingers, which a surgeon repaired. Of course, she has nerve damage and has lost any feeling in the affected fingers.
This woman was also hit in the face with brass knuckles. Then there was the emotional trauma in having to face her abuser in court. She and her children came to us with not much more than the clothes on their backs.
Like St. Nicholas, we were able to help her only because of the acquired funds from our donors. Needless to say, we are most appreciative of the love of our supporters who possess a heart like St. Nicholas, whose heart was a reflection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
If you have a hankering for coffee or gelato, please stop by Gianna’s Java & Gelato for a treat and consider Gianna’s gift card for a stocking stuffer for Christmas! St. Nicholas, pray for us!