Thursday, September 2, 2010

Belonging to Christ in love

all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.

When we hear the verb phrase "to belong to" we think of ownership, possession, and control. This is the fool's use of the word, to use St. Paul's terminology.
Christianity teaches the existence of the free will, and even the concept of hell because God does not wish to posses us in the human foolish sense. As distinct from some eastern philosophies the goal is not a kind of obliteration of the self in the universe or even in God.
"To belong to" for us is to be held in the loving embrace, the way a parent holds their newborn baby. By allowing ourselves to be embraced by God in this way, we become one with God, without the lose of self. "that they may be one, Father, as you and I are one" as Jesus prays in John's gospel. The persons are one and yet distinct.

Hell, the total separation from God, must also exist because we must have the freedom to reject God. We must freely, out of love surrender ourselves, not once but daily, remembering the words of Jesus "into your hands I commend my Spirit." When we allow ourselves to be embraced by God's love, then we, in turn, learn to embrace the goods of the earth with same tender loving care. The world, life, death, the present and the future belong to us, according to saint Paul. How will we hold them?

- Fr. Wayne