"Talitha Koum"

I can’t seem to get these two excerpts from this weekend’s Scripture out of my head:

"God did not make death, nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living."

"Talitha koum, which means, ‘little girl, I say to you, arise!’"

I know it doesn’t always look that this is the case, especially when your life gets all messed up or destruction of the living happens, and children don’t arise right after they die. Our lives are surrounded by doubt & anger, cynicism & hopelessness…it’s hard to believe talitha koum can happen. Have you noticed that when children grow up in a loving home, they don’t worry about all the bad things that might happen because they simply trust when they’re told "it’s going to be ok" or "I’m right here, you don’t have to worry," or they are taught ways to help them not fall into fear so quickly.

It was that way with my baby sister, Amy (whose birthday is the 30th) when she was growing up. She felt safe just being with our Mom. But, there were times when Mom wasn’t able to be right next to her or she had to go away. So, my Mom would give Amy, her blanket….her blankie …and everything would be alright. My Mom would say: “ah, here you go…here’s your blankie, now it’s time to rock rock….(or) it’s OK---don’t be afraid…Momma’s coming back…” And every time (once that blanket was next to her cheek) she would sniff it and everything got a little better. But then there came a time, when the idea of sniffing the blanket just got a little bit worn out…and so did the blanket---and she decided to keep what was left of the blanket in her dresser drawer. But you know what, to this day when she gets overwhelmed, I notice how Amy still stops and sniffs in deeply (I wonder if she is thinking about her old friend/blankie). Funny how it still seems to work for her.

Maybe we’re all reminded today just how much we’re an awful lot like Amy. Somewhere along the line, we too were given something---someone to give us the strength when we’re tired or afraid or unsure. No, not some transitional object like a blanket or toy, but Jesus Christ who is real freedom from fear. This week as we celebrate our nation’s Independence Day, remember true freedom (eleftheria in Greek which means freedom) only comes from God. For us there is no true freedom when people tell you, "You have to live your own truth" or "You have your rights," if it’s not of Jesus Christ. Let us praise God we have a country that tries to grant freedom to every person, even if at times it is not perfect freedom in Christ. There is no place like it in this world. Especially pray for those whose families have offer their loved ones to serve and protect us.

If you don’t know of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati take the time this week (feast day is July 4th). We are waiting for the final notice for his canonization next year. In regards to faith and freedom he said: “Our life, in order to be Christian, has to be a continual renunciation, a continual sacrifice. But this is not difficult, if one thinks what these few years passed in suffering are, compared with eternal happiness where joy will have no measure or end, and where we shall have unimaginable peace.”

Fr. David Bline

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