Monday, June 27, 2005

Everyone that God places before us is for our salvation

Consider for a moment the fact that God knows everything. Consider that God is, as we pray, “everywhere present and filling all things.” Consider for a moment that everything that occurs to each of us is an opportunity to put our faith into action, to put our ‘theological’ money where our mouth is. God, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, an often with His mysterious sense of humor, shapes our lives, and constantly calls us to Himself. If this is true, then it is also true that everything that occurs in our individual (and corporate!) lives is for our salvation. Everyone we meet, everyone whose path we cross is to help us, aid us, give us an opportunity for living fully as a Christian. This is as true on the street as it is in the office, as it is at the beach, as it is in the doorway of church at any given service. This includes our parents, our children, our neighbors, our friends, and our enemies!

Indeed, this is a tall order, but this is Christian life! The woman we walk past on the sidewalk, the homeless man on the corner, the doctor I work for—these are all ‘in my path’ for my salvation—that is, for me to reflect to them the love of Christ, the existence of God, the blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven.

This changes everything—or should begin to change everything. Is my contact with the stranger on the street a gentle smile or a condemning, judging look? Is my honking of the horn to warn the one near me of danger or to say, “get out of my way!” Do I offer a bite to eat to the homeless fellow thinking, “get a job!” or thinking, “how can I help this child of God further?”

We are called by God to have entered, through baptism, into the Kingdom of Heaven now. This is not yet fully realized, but it begins, as we sing so often “today”. Why? Because today is all that we have! None of us is guaranteed our next breath. Indeed none of us determines whether or not our heart beats one more time. With this in mind, it is easy to see how everyone and everything in our daily path is for our salvation—an opportunity to demonstrate our love of God by serving one another, or to prove my own abandonment of God by following my own selfish will.

With this in mind, we can begin to see with new eyes. We can begin to act with new hands, walk with new feet, listen with new ears. Indeed we can even begin to spend with holy money. God grant us the grace to do so, humbly, regularly, and intentionally!

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