Sunday, August 15, 2010

Christ's victorious love

This past week I got to witness some great events that gave me glimpses of the victorious love of God. In our Church right now we are encountering an opportunity, an invitation to become transformed by Christ’s love. This call is perhaps more palpable now because of the mounting tension between the culture and Christ. Everyone seems to feel it, yet only a few are able to recognize how Christ is calling us to an increasing holiness of everyday life.

Unfortunately, we see the effects of sin all around us. It is in the culture in which we live, and if we don’t constantly protect ourselves against its powers of seduction, we are in danger of losing our souls as well. The Sacraments are God’s armor against the onslaught of sin that is waged against us. The Sacraments give us the strength to love and remind us that in order to become who we were truly meant to be, we must become more like Christ and less like the world. In other words, when we, as the Church, take on the social habits of the culture, we are nothing more than a sham. If there is scandal in the Church, it is because we are not acting in accord with Christ. The answer is radical transformation that starts in the hearts of each individual member of the Church. The awareness of the harsh reality of sin in the Church should compel us to recommit ourselves to Christ, not to become detached from His love.

For this reason, I was especially moved this week in seeing a new bishop take firm hold of a diocese in crisis. He is embracing the members of a suffering parish in a time of need. It is the fatherly love of a man whose heart is centrally focused upon the mission of Christ.

I also had the providence of attending a wedding of a young couple deeply in love with God and each other. It is a beautiful reminder of Christ’s love for each one of us whenever we see true married love, a covenantal union that mirrors the relationship of Christ to his people, the Church.

And lastly, today, though I am not able to make the trip, a former teacher of my oldest daughter will make her first professions as a religious sister. The faith of this young woman has impacted our parish and her former students profoundly. Her holy example of dedication in listening and responding to her vocation inspires all of us to rededicate ourselves to being open to Christ’s call in our lives.

Christ is victorious! We know how the story ends, but it is frustrating sometimes to feel that the world is crashing in around. It gives me great hope to witness these victories of Christ’s love over a culture of sin and death.

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