FALLING AND RISING

Created On: 3/10/2017 4:00:24 PMAuthor: Bro. Pravith Alphonsa SAC

Failures are the stepping stones to success. No person on earth could win all the time in his life journey. It does not mean that he makes no attempt to rise up and walk ahead. A person who sees failures in a positive outlook is able to master over the situation. It is applied in all walks of life including spirituality. Human being is fragile. It is natural to think that he tends to fall each step that he takes, even Jesus, who became man and lived for our sake here on earth, too has fallen in number of ways.


As the gospel according to Matthew chapter 4 speaks of the Temptation of Jesus, St. Matthew makes a point that Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights, and then he was famished. It was not an ordinary hunger that I and you feel.


Matthew says, ‘He was famished.’ The word ‘famish’ would mean ‘starve to death.’ In this situation, the devil comes and tempts him to make an ordinary stone into loaves of bread, thus He can prove himself as the Son of God, and get satisfied from the hunger. But what is the response of Jesus? Man shall not live by bread alone but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Even though He was starving He remained faithful to His Father. Jesus too, by starving becomes just like you and me. He has fallen indeed, no physical strength, He is weak; but by answering ‘man shall not live by bread alone but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ He defeats Satan His enemy and proves himself as the Son of God and he defeats Satan not by turning a stone to bread but by rising from the state of falling, because He is sure of His goal i.e., to do His Father’s will here on earth.


The evangelists Matthew in chapter 17, Luke in chapter 9 and Mark in chapter 9 explain about the Transfiguration of Jesus. When He took his beloved disciples on the Mount to pray, the disciples had an experience which is beyond their imagination, transcendental, it was indeed a heavenly experience.


Thus His disciples could say that it is indeed good to be here. Even Jesus knew it was indeed good but he also knew that He came here to go beyond the realm of this experience and to fulfill His Father’s wish. So He proceeds immediately from there. When we pray if all our needs are answered what would be our attitude? Are we ready to accept suffering, pain, loss and to accept spirituality, accepting joys and sorrows, happiness and pain, success and failures as they are? Jesus knew both forms of spirituality quite well and he could face it boldly.


When Jesus prays in Gethsemane (Mt 26:36, 42) Jesus knew that his hour had come, so He prays, “Father remove this suffering, pain from me; I cannot bear, but it is not My will, but Your will may be done.” This should be our spirituality too. Jesus does fall here, He cannot bear; it is too much for Him. Thus he prays to take away all these pains and sufferings asking His Father’s consent ‘not My will but Yours’. However the Father knows that His Son can suffer; He can complete His entrusted mission and task. So Jesus at this point gets a kind of consolation to move forward with His task. In this way Jesus does rise from the fall again.


Even when Jesus carries His cross to Calvary He falls three times under the cross, but he does not remain there, He gets up immediately, carries His cross, and walks ahead. Is He not sufficiently mocked, dragged, spat upon, and beaten? He has to undergo all this just to fulfill His final task. For this He is sent and to give His life on the cross for our sake, so He gets up and moves ahead. Do we curse and question God when we suffer? Do we have the tendency to neglect and let go our small and tiny problems and move ahead with hope and conviction in life?


Falling and rising are the two essential happenings we see in Jesus’ life. He does not remain static in any of His life journey; in contrary He is dynamic and always on the move because He knows His goal. When we too develop our spirituality or any other aspect of life, we too can become more and more like Him by accepting joys and sorrows, successes and failures joyfully in our life, thus growing more and more in our spirituality.


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