With Our Whole Lives

"Only in our doing can we grasp you, only with our hands can we illumine you.... When I go toward you, it is with my whole life." In Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, poet Rainer Maria Rilke affirms the truth that Jesus lived, died, and rose to fulfill: Our journey with God is not a matter of intellectual understanding, but of living. In the next four weeks we will walk the greatest mystery of our faith - the journey from passion to resurrection, from control to surrender. Only when we surrender to the absurdity of faith can we hope to live the life that Jesus lived and to which he invites us now. Like Isaiah, we will follow God's invitation without question: "The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward" (Isaiah 50:5). We will say yes like Jesus, who, despite his fear, surrendered willingly to God.

And if we say yes to this mystery, we, like Rilke, must journey toward God with our very lives. Then, even in the midst of horror and death, we can proclaim with the faith of the psalmist: "I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord" (Psalm 118:17). By taking the journey as Jesus did, we will be able to recognize the new life when we see it, and not continue to "look for the living among the dead" (Luke 24:5). When our whole lives are an offering, we can believe without proof, and be among those "who have not seen and yet have come to believe" (John 20:29).

Michaela Bruzzese is a freelance writer living in Chile.

Your Will Be Done
Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 22:14-23:56

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Sojourners Magazine April 2004
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