Blog # 421 God living in us
Jesus prayed aloud to the Father the evening before He died that we who believe in Him would be united to Jesus as Jesus was united to the Father in His humanity so that through faith and Baptism all who believed in Jesus would be united to Jesus by sharing His divinity. (Jn, 17 22,23 ). This would be so the world would know the Father loved Jesus by granting His prayer and consequently that He loved us as He loved Jesus, united to Jesus in the gift we have come to call the gift of Sanctifying Grace, the gift that makes us holy or one with Jesus by sharing His divine God-life in our limited but real human way.
As a small child receives from a teacher the knowledge that cat is spelled C-A-T, and in that experience shares something of the teacher's life, so we through faith and Baptism are gifted with a share in God's life/love. We learn of the gift from the Bible, from history, from the experiences of those around us, and from our own experiences and conscience. But there are cautions and dangers to be avoided to help us guarantee the gift will be one of which we are aware of in our everyday experiences. It is not to be like a gift of fine china which we have received on our wedding day which is always ours but is stored in a closet and used only on a special occasion. We live in the house with the gift and would never throw it away but we use it only occasionally. Days go by and we are not consciously aware of it and not consciously in need of it for the agenda of those days, living almost as though it were not ours and we were not radically different because of it.
To guarantee the gift of Sanctifying Grace will have its intended effects in our lives we have to make decisions. Decisions are made in response to questions. Are we interested in growing more holy in our life? Are we willing to be different because we have been identified with Jesus through Baptism as a branch on a vine, sharing His love, proclaiming His presence in our life as a light,
(Matt, 5: 14). revealing the meaning of salvation in Jesus and the power of His grace to conquer sin.
I remember as a boy we had a small holy water fountain by the front door and how we would dip our finger into it as we went out and make the sign of the cross with it. I think one of the Sisters in school suggested it and my mother always kept it supplied with holy water. It was a small way but a definite way we had to remind ourselves that we were Baptized. On entering church we do a similar thing with a holy water font at the entrance. . But here too it could become just a routine custom we have had since we were small children. On the other hand it could be a conscious willful act that renews our Baptismal promises and prepares us to live in a way that is more worthy of our union with Jesus and His love.