Sunday Gospel Reflection for September 15
The following is an excerpt from Cora Evans' work, The Refugee from Heaven, selected as a reflection for the Sunday Gospel reading Luke 15:1-10.
Veronica beckoned Rachel to come to the cross of Jesus, and there quietly introduced her to Mother Mary. Immediately they recognized each other and were joyous even under those sad conditions.
Embracing Mother Mary, Rachel said, “I have searched so long to find you!”
At that moment both Gestas and Dismas cried aloud, maddened in their fight with pain. Rachel looked pleadingly at Jesus and begged Him to save her brother.
Jesus answered, “Rachel, I cannot, in justice, resist a free will. Man must come to Me of his own free will or his worship and loyalty will not be pure and true. Free will must be exercised in order for man to gain merit and prove to himself which master he is following. He cannot serve two masters. I am the master of Heaven and the devil is the master of Hell. I can beckon, and coax, and appeal to the five senses, through which man gains knowledge, but other than that, the foundation of faith, I am helpless to sway his free will. However, you must remember that I have said: 'You are your brother's keeper.' Rachel, do you have the desire to do anything within your power to save Gestas?”
“Lord,” Rachel responded fervently, “if there is anything I can do, allow me the privilege of trying.”
“Would you freely give your life doing reparation for him?” Jesus asked. “Your acts and deeds would be a constant petition before God, which might gain the grace for your brother, in his judgment, to pray an act of sorrow – especially because he has seen Me and not heard My words. Grace for this type of person is most difficult to earn. It would be easier if he had never heard of Me, for now his sin is triple. He has seen Me and refused My Light, the Father within Me. He and I are One. I am the Light of the world.”
Rachel pleaded anxiously, “Lord, is there time? He is dying. Teach me the way. Tell me Your plans that I may follow. I will deny myself anything to save his soul. If I love him this much, how much more then must You love him.”
Jesus said quietly, “A soul's judgment may last several days according to earthly expressions of time, even after death has been pronounced over the body. In that timeless time of judgment a soul may be saved through repentance earned by the deeds and prayers of a loved one, or through several holy souls living for the same common good. If you choose to follow a life of reparation for Gestas, you will indeed be following My life. I have said take up your cross and follow Me. I am the Good Shepherd Who left the comfort of ninety-nine friends to go in search of one lost sheep.”
Smiling with new hope, Rachel answered, “Lord, I will do anything You ask. Gestas was such a good little brother to me. Often he gave me his last crust of bread when I cried for more. I shall never forget his kindness before he turned to deeds of hate and revenge. O, if only he knew his God were beside him!”
The Master's eyes searched those of Mary Magdala, and then looking at Rachel he addressed them both, saying, “Love each other. Your former dislikes are a heritage ritual that does not graft easily into each other's moods. Charity is the only rule to follow, and in that kind of charity of love I work through souls in many ways. At times this may seem contradictory to the mind of men, but this is because they do not understand heritage, its customs and traditions from one tribe of people to the other. Love each other. I do not govern all souls alike, nor do I lead them through the same paths and virtues to the hall of My kingdom, which is not of this world.
“Mary, take Rachel as your companion. She will go with you to your desert cave, which I have shown you in vision-knowledge. There, with you, she will live a life of penance for Gestas and for any other soul whom I wish to share with her.”