We Are Stand-Ins for Christ
When Christ bodily left this earth and returned to his Father, He promised to remain with us always. We know He does this through Eucharist and the Sacraments, but He also fulfills this promise through us. Below is a letter from a friend of mine proving this.
Diagnosed with prostate cancer, and a pretty bad prognosis at that, John wrote: I have just finished a round of Chemo on top of radiation. And I can’t believe how differently I feel right now. I am taking walks again through my neighborhood, while thinking about the many friends who have responded to my illness. They sent emails, made phone calls, and wrote cards, and even penned letters – all to reach out to me. I feel blessed to have so many people in my life and wonder why?
Amazed but grateful, John feels loved as he struggles through his uncertainties and the ordeal of his treatments. John attributes this attitude to the many responses from friends and acquaintances who took time to care and lift him up, restoring his hope, and reminding him how much he is loved.
John’s example is precisely how Jesus wants his presence to remain among us. Jesus stirs those around John to be mindful of his situation. Then He calls them forth to minister to John in His name. Their words, in phone calls, letters, emails, or flowers, tell John that Jesus is aware too. In turn, John receives needed courage to take his next steps confidently and hopefully. In some miraculous way, John feels Jesus’ presence all around him.
John senses the sacred reality of Jesus seeing him and knowing his struggles. He soon knows he is not alone. Jesus is there, and John feels His presence. John ended his note with this: “It took my illness to see what a treasure I have in my life. Love is a wonderful thing.” John’s days, though with pain, feel warm from the rays of sunlight shining brightly from the love present around him.
Jesus wants similar miracles from us. When we stand in for Christ as John’s friends did, such as a neighbor’s misfortune or tragedy, he or she can catch that same needed glimmer of hope. And Jesus is seen as still loving those who need healing and loving, but now His presence shines from us.