Saturday, March 5, 2011
Blog # 129 The Bowling Game 2
Blog # 129 The Bowling Game 2 Recognizing perfect love as the perfect score in the 'game' of life, we ask the question: What is perfect love? and Can it be achieved ? Is it with love as it is with football and baseball where you can have your perfect game, the best you can do, but not the perfect game? If the answer to that question is YES, life would still be a wonderful gift and worth living. But the answer is NO. By faith we identify life as different from football and baseball where you do your best. Life is like bowling where you reach for an absolute value named perfect love. What is the meaning of perfect love? becomes the fundamental question. "...with your whole heart, and mind, and with all your strength" becomes the key to our answer. We keep on living day by day with this wonderful dream and desire of our Creator within us and at the same time we are aware of falling short. But just think for a moment of the case of Jesus and Mary His mother. We believe both of them were totally without sin for their entire lives. Yet the Bible indicates for us that Jesus was tempted, and if that were the case we can easily imagine Mary was tempted too, though like Jesus without sin, an accomplishment achieved by free personal choices on her part. Applying once more the parable of the bowling game, there were standing pins on their alleys, incidences in their lives as in ours that might tempt us to sin that had to be cast out by choices in order for us to love perfectly. That they did. That we keep trying to do. The perfect game of bowling is certified as it were by the last pin to go down. In the 'game' of life the last pin to go down is death. And that is true for everyone. It was true for Jesus and Mary. Death it is that could tempt us to think God is unfair cruel uncaring waiting in Heaven to judge us. Seen that way it is a difficult pin to knock down, a temptation to let it overshadow all the good things that have made up our lives, including the forgiveness of our sins rather than an opportunity of transforming the total of our life into our absolutely greatest act of love. The last pin to go down is the greatest threat to a perfect game. It is also the pin that declares the winner. Jesus names that pin the greatest love. "There is no greater love than to lay down your life..." To love means to give and the more we love the more we give. The only way to love perfectly is to give it all. Only our unique Creator is worthy of our total love. It is possible only in death. Until the very instant of death there is more to give, even if it is only that very instant. We believe that in the Church, the Body of Christ, we are joined to Jesus through faith and Baptism as branches are joined to a vine, sharing the same divine life Jesus brought from Heaven and shared with us in a limited human way, (c John 15: 4,5 ; 17: 21,23,26). As branches are joined to a vine a vine is joined to the branches. In the bowling game of Christian life we are bowlers, and JESUS is the ball! , in our hands, in our minds and hearts and strength, in the free choices we make to knock down all the 'pins' that prevent us from loving God with a perfect love. Understand that and we understand the deepest meaning and value of the event of Christmas. Emmanuel, God Among Us, for us, with us, and within us! May your love be total joyful faithful to the end! Happy Christmas every day of your life!