“He abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel” (2 Tim 1:10).
One day a man came to my room to share eagerly a miraculous incident which took place in his family.
His daughter was doing her post graduation in Pune. When she was there, she got feverish and was taken to the hospital, but proper diagnosis was not done. Later it was found that she was suffering from a serious illness known as H1N1. Since it is a contagious disease, she was quarantined. Treatment was done, but there was no improvement. The chief doctor of the hospital too conveyed the news to her family that the chances of her survival were minimal. They came to know that her condition was deteriorating. The family was not permitted to see her or to be with her. All the family members started crying and praying to God as they faced the critical situation.
The family then contacted Rev. Fr. Mathew Naikomparambil via telephone. The emotional dad shared everything with the priest. Fr prayed over the man’s daughter and said – “God will decide whether she will die or recover. You do not worry. Nothing will happen to your daughter…” But it was very difficult to believe the words of Fr. Mathew Naikomparambil.
The family thought that Fr said these words only to console them. By that time, the doctor had even had even begun to make suggestions on how to shift her body after death to Kerala, from the hospital. Next day, the doctor informed them that her blood would be re-examined once again, as the last recourse.
Everybody prayed intensely. The result of the blood test was shocking! Doctor said, “There is no trace of H1N1 in her blood. There is no other physical complaint in her. Therefore, she can be discharged soon and you can take her home.” The whole family became so happy. The room which was filled with gloom, erupted into His joy.
The man told me, “We hugged our daughter and praised the good Lord in joyful tears for her rebirth. While we were about to come out of the hospital, a nurse, sent by the doctor, came to us and asked whether we are Christians. Then I said, “Yes! We are Christians and Jesus Christ is the one who healed our daughter”. From this question of the doctor, we gathered that the doctor, who is a non-Christian, got convinced that Jesus Christ, who conquered death, gave life to this girl who was at the verge of death”.
“Look at the nations, and see! Be astonished! Be astounded! For a work is being done in your days that you would not believe if you were told” (Haba 1:5).
When medical science declared that she would live no more, Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord healed her and brought her back to life.
Jesus said to Martha, “I am the Resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live” (Jn 11:25).
Find peace in Me
The humanity is reconciled and united with God by the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God though our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1). This union with God is the basis of real peace.
Jesus promised peace to his disciples. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid” (Jn 14:27). These promises of peace by Jesus are fulfilled with his Resurrection.
Closed doors are the sign of lack of peace and brokenness in life. It is also the expression of lack of faith and trust in God and others. The Risen Lord comes to your shattered life with the gift of peace.
Peace in this world is on the decline due to various reasons. Everywhere enmity and intolerance are on the rise. Peace within families is adversely affected and society is torn apart by the practice of caste system. No unity exists between the husband and wife, parents and children and even between neighbours. The entire world is longing for peace. Let us turn to Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with all of you” (2 Thes 3:16).
Do not be afraid
‘Do not be afraid ‘–This is the message the angel as well as the Lord gave to people who approached the empty tomb of Jesus. Fear is a great obstacle in doing the will of God and being successful in life. Fear prompted Peter to deny Jesus. Fear was the reason why the other disciples ran away when Jesus was arrested. The wife of Pilate made an effort to save Jesus due to fear. But the presence of Jesus takes away all kinds of fear. Those who trust in God are liberated from all kinds of fears. “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Ps 34:4).
We live in an era that presents to us the absence of peace and a sense of fear. The world is filled with terrorist attacks, violence, murder, intolerance, revengefulness and selfishness. This situation creates fear in everyone. The cold blooded murders by terrorist factions is alarming and beyond human imagination. Even the human existence is in danger and people experience insecurity everywhere. In this situation, fear makes people inactive; fear destroys their inner peace. Fear is a threat to our mental health.
Even St. Paul, a powerful and zealous missionary and the apostle of the gentiles was struck with fear in certain situations. God himself empowered him to go ahead during such occasions. Jesus told him in a vision. “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people” (Acts 18:9-10).
Jesus promises His presence as a solution to overcome every kind of fear. “Fear not I am with you.” Let this powerful Word and the presence of the Risen Lord enable us to overcome all kinds of fears and to become courageous in life.
The feast of hope
“With the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints” (Eph 1:18). Jesus reveals a great truth to the disciples whose dreams were shattered and also to the world that life does not end up in Calvary or in the empty tomb. Jesus, the Risen Lord invites all those who are disappointed and in despair to look up to the hope of Resurrection.
“Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death so that we would rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again” (2 Cor 1:9-10).
“If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom 10:9)
The victory of the evil powers is momentary. The mirth and merry making of Caiaphas is only for a few hours. Truth cannot be concealed by falsehood for long .The truth will come out of the tomb, even though it is closed and sealed up.
The ultimate victory in this world is that of Jesus Christ. In the midst of the struggles and difficulties of daily life, let us seek solace and courage in the powerful words of Jesus Christ. The certainty Jesus gives to everyone who believes in Him is this, “Those who believe in me will live, even though died.”
By Fr Biju Koonan
Fr Biju Koonan is one of Christ & Co.’s Spiritual Advisers. He is the current Director of Potta Retreat Centre, Kerala. He has held a host of roles such as Assistant Director, Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, Assistant Director, Tabor Divine Retreat Centre, Kalyan, Mumbai and Director, Ave Maria Divine Retreat Centre, Kohima, Nagaland. Listen to his anointed preaching here: https://bit.ly/3fMUm03