Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator
The Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago, Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., has been diagnosed with active cancer cells in his liver and kidneys. This is not the first time that Cardinal George has had to fight cancer. He did so six years ago when his bladder was surgically removed. However, the ugly specter of cancer has a way of returning in those who have successfully overcome it.
In the course of the news reporting about this, the newspaper reporters have been gathering the reactions of the "man in the street." Almost to a person, the response has been one of support for the Cardinal through prayer. (I would like to remind members of CUSA that Cardinal George is an honorary member of CUSA and should be sharing in our prayers as well.) When asked, the lay people have said, "We have to pray for him, because nothing is impossible with God."
The original context in which those words were first spoken is taken from today's Gospel passage. The disciples are reacting to Jesus' answer to the rich young man. How can anyone who is rich then make it into heaven? Jesus answers with what has become a time-worn phrase, "Nothing is impossible with God."
CUSANS know this truth well. Those of us who live with chronic illness and/or disability know that with God's help we are able to overcome the most daunting obstacles. For some, it has become a battle cry. For others, they are simply the quiet words of reassurance that get us through the day. For all of us, they are a reminder that God's love does not abandon us when the going gets rough. "The Lord is with you," the angel said to Mary. Those five words have the power to change our lives just as surely as they changed the life of Mary of Nazareth.