Thursday, May 4, 2017

Embracing life

If you watch the coverage of the Catholic Church in the media you would walk away with the notion that when. Catholics are described as pro-life, all it means is that we are anti-abortion.

Today's gospel reminds us that at the very center of the Christian faith is Life. Today Jesus puts it very simply,

whoever believes has eternal life.

There are two details we should not over look.

Firstly, the life he is talking about is not the biological life we received when we were conceived. It was the life we received when we were reborn in baptism: the most common baptism with water, baptism of blood (those martyred before receiving the sacrament), or baptism of desire.

In baptism we receive a new and eternal life. This new life does not replace our biological life or make it meaningless, but it does place it in a new context.

Secondly, we should note that the gospel doesn't say "will have" in the future, he says "has" in the present. While we do not yet have this new life in its fullness, we do possess it now.

The daily challenge for us is to fully embrace the gift we have received. We constantly experience the temptation to be drawn downward, to live a purely material earthly life. Particularly in the Easter Season the readings constantly call us upward. They call us to be more than we are.

Today and every day during this Easter Season in particular it is important for us to pause from our regular activity and remember what we have inside us. Only when we truly believe that we have eternal life will be power of that life be able to transform us.