A few days ago, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of England, addressed the people of England. One of the things he said was (in so many words), “The Coronavirus has now come to our shores. Some people will get it and some of our loved ones will die before their time.”
That is not true. No one will die before their time. Everyone will die at the exact moment that the Father in heaven allows them to die and has ordained that their life on earth would be complete, which has been known from all eternity. If you think of it that way, it makes everything different. We may die of the Coronavirus, or something else, but we will die when our time on earth is over. That’s it and it’s not something to be afraid of.
Remember Roy Shoeman, whom we had speaking here recently; the Harvard professor and atheist, who had that amazing spiritual experience where he was shown everything. He saw how everything in his life fitted together perfectly, not only the things that caused him suffering, but especially the things that caused him suffering. Everything fitted together perfectly in the overall picture, so much of it we don’t understand, or like and some of it is caused by evil. But in the end the Father in heaven makes it fit together, for our benefit, because He loves us.
God does not want us to be living in fear. 366 times in the Bible are the words, “Do not be afraid.” That’s every day including a leap year!
In this beautiful Gospel of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well, we are shown several things. The most important thing that Jesus is telling us through it, is that we will only find fulfillment in him.
The woman he meets is on her own in the middle of the day, which tells us that something is wrong. Normally she would be with the other women, in the early morning. So why was she on her own? She had been rejected by her community because of the way she lived. Jesus helps her to see that she has not found fulfillment because she has been looking for it in the wrong way and in the wrong place. He points out that she has had five husbands and the current man is not her husband. She has tried to find fulfillment in relationships, but she cannot. Jesus shows her that the only place we will ever find fulfillment is in him. No other human being can every fulfill us, because we are made for the divine. We will only be fulfilled in God. To expect any other human being, including your spouse, to fulfill you, is asking the impossible. Hopefully they will bring you great joy and be a wonderful companion, but they cannot fulfill you, or you them. If we can accept this, it takes a great burden off our shoulders. As humans we will let each other down, we will disappoint each other, because we are so limited as human beings. The only place we will be fulfilled is in God,
Jesus says to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
What is this ‘living water’? It is Jesus himself, who gives himself to us in so many ways. Above all we can receive him in the Eucharist, his own Body and Blood. There is nothing more intimate than this. He teaches us everything we need to know, through the Scriptures. He offers us his forgiveness and healing through confession. And he offers us eternal life and happiness if we want it.
We waste so much time and put so much energy, in trying to find satisfaction and fulfillment in what can never satisfy. God shows us exactly where we will find fulfillment if only we would give ourselves to him and immerse ourselves in him. That is also why he continually assures us not to be afraid, but to trust in his providence.
At funerals I often read the Gospel of John 14:
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. Trust in God still and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you with me, so that where I am you may be too.
When our life on earth is complete, Jesus will come to bring us with him, unless we reject him. Then we will find our total fulfillment. That’s what we are created for. Our time on earth is only step one.
“If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘you would have asked him and he would have given you living water".