Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
September 22, A.D. 2006
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Psalm 17:1, 6-8, 15
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
If for this life only we have hoped in Christ,
we are the most pitiable people of all." (1 Corinthians 15:19)
St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians goes to the very heart of Christ's mission, to fully reveal God's purpose in creating humanity. Simply put, God, being love, made us to share in His blessed life by giving us both the desire, and in Christ, the ability to participate in His divine virtues so that we can live joyfully in the goodness and glory of God. Christ was announced by John the Baptist who awakened us to our sin that we might repent, be forgiven and restored to God's favor. Christ's death sentence dramatizes the injustice and horror human sin can unleash on an innocent person and presents us with a choice. We can continue living in self-inflicted mayhem wrought by hatred, envy, violence and greed or we can lovingly respond to God by our being cleansed of sin, dying to our self-will and living in obedience to His divine Word. Choosing the latter, we begin living in Christ, making His resurrection life visible, "working out our salvation" through our genuine love for one another.
Though our participation in God's life begins on earth, it extends beyond the now, into eternity. It is this point that Paul vehemently defends in the above quotation. Because God's love for man is infinite and everlasting, He has given each of us an immortal soul and spirit that we may live eternally in union with Him. After our physical body perishes we can look forward to being raised again "on the last day" in new spiritual bodies. Disbelief in this is like saying Christ was a liar who falsely and cruelly raised human hope. It also destroys the worth, meaning and purpose of human life and makes of us a cosmic hoax, the product of a mindless, heartless, succession of random events destined only to end in the grave.
Let us say, for the purpose of silencing the hard core atheists among us, that a brilliant scientist has uncovered irrefutable facts disproving the existence of God and life beyond death. What then would be the reaction of those who still insist on remaining "believers?” We would simply say that for us Christianity has proven to be a truly wonderful way to live.
O Creator of all, make us to serve You with all our heart. You are our source of the dignity given to those who are poor in spirit, who live in abandonment to Your love. Amen.
- Marie Bocko, OCDS
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)
The Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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