Saturday, March 7, 2009

"Glorify God in Your Bodies"

Jesus Christ is the way for every man and woman. Security comes not from physical defense, for power ever escalates and the forces of nature are unpredictable. Weapons of destruction fall into evil hands every day and all of us live with the threat of violence. Peace cannot come through higher walls, more locks on the door or a move to the "country". The wise man will seek the security that can never be taken away: the fortification, the stronghold of God's grace, realizing that the only true threat is the evil that he embraces with his intellect and will, not that which he suffers at the hands of another. The strength of a holy life is possessing and living Christ's own life, the Resurrection and the Life which is victorious over every power. Jesus Christ is the only power which can promise us that, though we may sustain every torture or means of violence that man has sinfully devised for the destruction of the body, our heart, mind, soul and strength can yet be with God at every moment. No matter what may come in this life, no matter what the future may hold, we know and believe that a holy life is the only certain security, for in it lies the seed of heavenly glory.

Anything which destroys the glory of God in us is rejected as evil by those who sincerely seek holiness. The worst violence is the destruction of God's image through man's own complicity, at an epidemic level today. The culture of death is at once the most ignored and the greatest threat. The moral evil of surgical sterilization in voluntary vasectomy, hysterectomy, and tubal ligation is a violation of the human person, yet a growing means of regulating births. Abortion is not only the murder of a child, it is at the same time dehumanizing and degrading for the mother. Sin is most evil for it renders man and woman incapable of glorifying God in their bodies.

"The Word became flesh to be our model of holiness: 'Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.' 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.' (Mt 11:29; Jn 14:6) On the mountain of the Transfiguration, the Father commands: 'Listen to him!' (Mk 9:7; cf. Deut 6:4-5) Jesus is the model for the Beatitudes and the norm of the new law: "Love one another as I have loved you." (Jn 15:12) This love implies an effective offering of oneself, after his example. (Cf. Mk 8:4) " (CCC 459)

We glorify God in our bodies through a self-offering configured to the Cross and consecrated in the glorified and risen Christ. He reveals his glory to strengthen us for our share in His suffering which comes with total rejection of evil.

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for the Second Sunday in Lent.

(Art: The Transfiguration, Duccio di Buoninsegna, 1308-1311.

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