The Great Reversal

The Syrian army flees in the middle of the night from the besieged Samaria and its starving inhabitants. Job’s life, family and fortunes are restored. Lazarus is loosed from the tomb. On Holy Saturday, hell is plundered by our Lord. We are never so blind as when we lose hope in the great reversal.

There is, perhaps, no more desperate state than the one of hopelessness. And more bitter still when that hopelessness is built on doubt of the mercy and goodness of God. Those who sustain life in the face of such existential emptiness are truly the walking dead.

Such hopelessness however may have some chance of healing if it derives from simple blindness upon which it both feeds and gives. We are given a plurality of examples of such blindness and its resolution, but two recollections may suffice. Elisha’s servant is struck with fear at the sight of the approaching Syrian army. But Elisha assures him of a far greater army on the side of God’s people. And the prayer of enlightenment opened the servant’s eyes to chariots and horsemen of fire. The greater, example, however, is the Eucharistic journey to Emmaus, and the third Man who converses with the disciples and opens their eyes at the breaking of the bread.

Hypernikomen we are called, and such we are. Because of the one who loves us. The one who showers on us blessings and joy in the midst of suffering and pain. Who takes our questions of hopelessness and despair and answers them with his presence, the gentle warmth in the pained heart, the whisper for which we cover our face.

We may experience that great reversal of our days and sustenance, when our enemies suddenly flee and leave us the surfeit, when health and children and blessings are renewed. Our hearts may find again the peace and fellowship long sought. New days and new circumstances will dawn. That darkness in which sun and moon are extinguished will give way to the light in our hearts.

In our dark thoughts and moments, we may not see this. Our blindness may remain. We may not see those fiery messengers, the nail-scarred hands. But we may still trust. Others, too, have heard that whisper, felt the ache of the warmed heart. We can take courage in that. For we are more than conquerors. Because of the One Who loves us.

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