By Most Rev. Richard W. Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton


This picture shows one of the panels on the holy door at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. I have always loved it, and it speaks beautifully of the Good Shepherd reaching out to save the lost. That's the reason for hope.

Monday, April 1, 2013

No Situation God Cannot Change

Since his election as our new Holy Father, Pope Francis has made many gestures and spoken many words that, from the power of their simplicity, have made quick and lasting impressions upon our minds and hearts. One such expression was spoken during his homily for the Easter Vigil, when he said, "there are no situations which God cannot change." None. We often find ourselves in difficult situations that are impossible for us to change. But God is Lord of the impossible. This power was on full display in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

In the days of Holy Week we commemorated how Jesus suffered and died on the Cross. In his suffering he took to himself the whole weight of human anguish, the entire burden of sin and its consequences, including death. His resurrection was God's victory over sin and its effects. If God can raise Jesus from the dead, there is obviously no situation he cannot change, there is nothing from which he cannot save us.

All that Jesus asks of us is that we believe, is that we have faith in him: faith in his resurrection, faith in his abiding presence, faith in his wisdom and love. By the gift of faith we open our lives to the transformative power of Christ's love. In the light of that same faith we see our situations change.

And how great is the need! Apparent impossibility of change surrounds us, as we are confronted by enormously complex and difficult situations, either in our own personal or family lives or in the society and world around us. Yet the Christian is not governed by anxiety and does not give in to despair. Why? Because Jesus is risen from the dead! When hearts and minds open in faith to him, when we surrender self-reliance and place our trust in the power of his love and mercy, when we allow the Risen Lord to guide and carry us, there is no situation that God cannot change.