Friday, May 21, 2010


JESUS LIVING IN US / SANCTIFYING GRACE Most of us are familiar with the important distinction that can be expressed in the terms wedding and marriage. A wedding takes place at a single hour in a particular place. Beginning with a wedding a marriage is identified by the unique love of a husband and wife, a love chosen by them but designed by God to continue forever. The day of their wedding is identified and measured by the calendar and continues for twenty-four hours as any other day in spite of its very special character and the memories it engenders for the married couple and their friends. The event of their marriage identifies and shapes the entire remainder of their days on earth. A similar distinction applies to each of the six billion people now living on earth and to Jesus Emmanuel, God as one of us. We can distinguish the day of our birth and that of Jesus, identified as occurring in a particular hour in a particular place somewhere in the world, and the event of our birth and that of Jesus which continues as long as we are on earth. By faith we know the unique event that began with the birth of each of us continues beyond the grave. Like so, the human event of the life of Jesus on earth now glorified forever through His resurrection from the dead, continues in a unique way for the salvation of all people in His Body, which is the Church and in us, as members of the Church. The Word of God, incarnate in Jesus, was sent to earth with a mission to accomplish. In John's Gospel Jesus identifies Himself thirty times as being sent by the Father. Then as the Father sent Jesus He sends His disciples (John 17 : 18 ). We as members of Jesus' Body, united with Him as branches on a vine, share the same divine life and the same mission as He to save and sanctify our particular moment of history and our small portion of the vast vineyard of the Lord which covers the entire earth and all of creation. This is a tremendously important Catholic insight that few seem to be conscious of as we go about our daily human lives with little or no awareness of our identity buy Grace and the event of our Baptism of being called and enabled to be a current living expression of and witness to the love of Jesus for us and for all creation. What light this insight throws upon the full meaning of the words of Jesus commanding us to love one another as He loves us. Exactly so, not merely in remembrance of His love on earth in past ages, not merely in imitation of that love, but sharing and living His love, in our minds, known, in our hearts desiring it, and in our bodies, making it our own by His command. For ‘old timers’ like myself, what I am trying to share with you may recall how the Sisters in the third or fourth grade back in parochial school referred to it by always reminding and urging us to remain in the ‘State of Grace’. Then if we stepped away from the State of Grace by mortal sin, the serious sin that ‘killed’ the life of God in us, we could be restored to it through repentance and the Sacrament of Confession. Then further along in our Catholic education we learned to refer to the gift that blends our human life with that of Jesus and establishes us in the ‘State of Grace’ as the gift of Sanctifying Grace, a term derived from three Latin roots which translate into the ‘gift that makes us holy’ or like to God. Here are some bible texts that might be helpful in reflecting upon what we have been considering. John 3: 3 “I solemnly assure you, no one can see (understand, know) the Kingdom of God unless he is begotten from above.” Gal .2 : 20 “…and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me.” John 10 : 10 “I came that they may have life.” John 15 : 23 “Live on in my love as I do in you.” Rom 6 : 4 Through Baptism into His death we were buried with Him so that…we too might have a new life.” 2 Cor. 5: 17. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”

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