Sunday, June 26, 2011

Good or just good enough

How good do we really want to be?

In the office of Readings for today, St. Thomas Aquinas writes, "Since it was the will of God’s only-begotten Son that men should share in his divinity, he assumed our nature in order that by becoming man he might make men gods."

That is his goal to truly transform us, to make us like Christ, to make us part of Christ. Toward that end he gave us the Eucharist, where the Church gathers, and Christ become truly present through simple food of bread and wine. At communion that real presence of Christ goes from the altar to each of us so that "he might make us gods."

But do we really want to be like Christ? To truly be transformed in this way means that we would surrender ourselves, "thy will be done." Our free will would at every moment be directed toward doing the will of the father.

What I suspect most of really want is to hold on to our earthly self, our will, our desires, and have god make us just good enough to get into heaven, not truly and completely good. That way we can still have fun and in the end have eternal life, the best of both worlds. Or so we think.

What our feeble minds fail to grasp is the paradox of Christianity. The only path to real freedom is when I surrender my will to the will of God. The only way I can find my true self is to lose myself in Christ.

After 50 years of Catholics drifting away from faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, it seems the tide is turning and younger Catholics are returning to faith in the real presence and expression of that faith such as prayer before the blessed sacrament. That is a good first step.

The next and even more critical question is: Are they, are we, ready on this Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ to take the next step, to truly open our entire being, our entire life, to the transforming power of Christ in the Eucharist?