Blog # 247 Jesus, Our Savior
My concern in Blog # 246 was about how much we retain and cultivate an awareness of our Baptismal identification in our everyday experience of life. Without an explicit conscious awareness of our Baptism and the effects it is designed by God to produce in our lives we are not in a position to appreciate and produce those effects.
In one of my previous blogs I said I thought the most serious sin we are in danger of experiencing these days here in our secularized American culture is a neglect or betrayal of our Baptismal commitment to die to sin and rise to new life in Jesus. I am taking the term sin here in a broad sense as meaning separation from God. This is in contrast to its strict application to actual sins such as stealing and murder.
Put into the context of virtue rather than sin , the most authentic and greatest holiness we can experience is the holiness of God in Jesus, shared with those who believe, through Baptism and the other Sacraments. If our primary or sole desire, effort,and experience is to obey the commandments, we may end up perfectly honest and chaste, etc, but identified as good or holy human creatures rather than as fulfilling the complete plan of God that we be re-created and made holy through a supernatural UNION with Jesus whereby we are actually adopted children of the Father and members of the Body of Jesus the Church. In other words, in the plan of God our most authentic and greatest holiness is brought about by the holiness of Jesus IN US. What else but this could Jesus have intended to tell us when He said: "apart from me you can do nothing." (Jn 15: 5), and " I am the way...no one comes to the Father but through me." (Jn 14 5). Jesus was not sent merely to set a pace for us to follow, to follow His example from two thousand years away, but to share currently with us in a living gift within us His very life, His divine holiness lived in our unique individual human capacity.
This kind of thinking, since it deals with truth that is above and beyond our natural human capacity to achieve requires faith. The natural virtues such as honesty chastity and justice make good common sense if we are to live on earth in harmony, happy and at peace with one another. Faith is helpful rather than required for us to know this.
From what I have been sharing with you in recent blogs I think you can understand my sadness at the continuing division among Christian believers with regard to the content of what we proclaim as the message Jesus taught concerning the nature and need of Baptism, the meaning and purpose of Sacraments, the nature and appreciation of worship as identified in the death of Jesus on Calvary, the nature of the Church as the Body of Jesus and other such related topics.
Each day I keep the prayer of Jesus to the Father given in the Gospel of John (17: 20 -26) on my mind and in my heart: Father...I pray for all those who will believe in me through their word, that all may be one as you Father, are in me, and I am in you; I pray that they may be one in us, that the world may believe that you sent me...I have given them the glory you gave to me that they may be one, as we are one - I living in them, you living in me - that their unity may be complete. So shall the world know that you sent me, and that you loved them as you loved me....To them I have revealed your name, and I will continue to reveal it so that your love for me may live in them, and I may live in them."
Jesus, my Savior, so live in me that all I do be done by Thee, that all I think and all I say be Thy thoughts and words today. Amen !