Arise


The word “arise”, in the Greek, is the verb to express resurrection from the dead.  So the command to arise is a summons from death to newness of life, to life in abundance, and ultimately to eternal life.

In Luke’s Gospel, we hear the Lord say, “Arise.

Someone from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the teacher any longer.” On hearing this, Jesus answered him, “Do not be afraid; just have faith and she will be saved.” When he arrived at the house he allowed no one to enter with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. All were weeping and mourning for her, when he said, “Do not weep any longer, for she is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him, because they knew that she was dead.  But he took her by the hand and called to her, “Child, arise!” Her breath returned and she immediately arose. He then directed that she should be given something to eat.” (Luke 8: 49-55)

It is His call to us today. Taking us by the hand, Jesus draws us out of the drowsiness of mediocrity, the numbness of mistrust, the fog of sorrow, or the death of sin. He fills us with breath, His very Spirit, the fulfillment of the promise that He would be with us always. And then the unthinkable: Jesus insists we should be given “Something to eat.”

The Eucharist is the source and summit of our life…and yet, even with frequent reception of Holy Communion, we can feel seemingly unchanged. How is it possible for me to receive Jesus and to be cold,to receive fire and to not be inflamed? 

How can our time of Holy Communion with the Lord deepen, transforming us and making us new? Preparation prior to Mass and a Thanksgiving afterward have always been invaluable practices to the saints. St. Alphonsus Ligiouri would give himself a pep-talk, “Soul…do you know what is about to happen to you? You are going to meet your CREATOR!!” He recommended 6 acts to prepare oneself for the Mass.

1) An act of faith; Jesus,  I believe you are truly present. 2) An act of confidence; I trust you can move mountains in my life.  3) An act of love ; “I love you God…but oh! Teach me how to love.” (St. Josemaria Escriva)  4) An act of humility; I am confused by my inconsistency and weakness, and overwhelmed by your condescension in coming to me 5) An act of contrition; I am sorry for the ways I have grieved you and 6) an act of desire. I want to receive you Lord…and for You to receive me.

When asked how she could spend so much time in thanksgiving after the Mass, St. Bernadette answered, “I imagine that Our Lady herself is giving me the Child Jesus. I receive Him…I speak to Him and He speaks to me.”  We too can marvel at Christ within us, seeing His Adorable Face: the Infant at Bethlehem, the Crucified Savior, the Friend of sinners and tax collectors.

Jesus said to Simon at Bethany, “When I entered your house, you did not give me a kiss. But she (the sinful woman) has not stopped kissing my feet since the time I entered.” We do not want to be like Simon and leave Jesus unattended! Instead, imitate the woman who loved much because she had been forgiven much and offer many aspirations of love for your thanksgiving. Let each be like a kiss for Jesus. Jesus is a real person, and He comes to the house of your heart.