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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Enter into Eternal Life

The rich young man asks Jesus (Mt 19) "what must I do to have eternal life?" Some translations use "to receive"instead. And while that notion of obtaining salvation for oneself is truly flawed, there is another mistake here: that eternal life begins *after* this life. Not so. As in everything, Jesus fulfills and surpasses all expectaions. Eternal life begins here and now, and we should live it here and now. One enters eternal life through baptism. Every day and hour hence is an opportunity to live out that life. Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus in the Eucharist is receiving more of his life in this sacrament. This, the Church proclaims, is the source and summit of our Christian life, because Jesus, Word Incarnate, is the Eucharist.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

How do we define ouselves?

Earler I spied a registration plate that gave me pause. It began with "SXY" and then some numbers. Hence the title of this post. The question popped into my head, "why not instead define oneself with something that lasts?" For sexiness is a passing thing, as are most of our physical traits. Even certain abilities are passing: our wit, our boundless energy, our incredible memory and attention to detail. What does not pass is our love. Then I got to thinking: this is perhaps key to understanding so many things. Are all men and women created equal? Only if we measure our worth by our ability to love. You don't need a PhD to love, nor money, nor savvy, nor a glib tongue. You don't even need to be a grownup. You don't even need to be terribly emotional nor sentimental. Thankfully, love is, for the rational adult, a rational act from our free will. For the blessed children, it is simply an impulse awaiting full blossom, but even so, they can love. And if love defines us, then, properly understood, we are loveable beyond our looks, our properties, our skills and the gilded trappings that most of us cannot afford anyway.