In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we can be so focused on the demands immediately before us, that we easily lose sight of what is truly important. “Set your minds on the things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:2). With these words, Paul the Apostle exhorts us to remain centered on God.
We should not be mistaken, though, in thinking that Paul wants us to live with our heads in the clouds and ignore our responsibilities here on earth. No. Paul is pressing on us the need to bring those heavenly qualities into our everyday lives, to set aside all behaviors that work against our goal of eternal life. After all, what we believe has a definite connection with how we behave. Faith in Christ means being united to Christ. It means dying to ourselves in order to live in Christ. Through our baptism, we share in Christ’s death and resurrection. Our old self has died. We have put on the new self and have been made new.
Can we hear Christ’s call to be his disciples? Can we perceive that God is doing something new in us, calling us to new life? “Set your minds on what is above,” we are admonished, so that we may become the whole person God intends us to be.
Today we commemorate the 18th anniversary of the tragedy of 9-11. Today we remember the many who died, the many who served heroically amidst the suffering and devastation. And every day, we continue to pray and work for peace.
Deacon Manuel Valencia is on the staff at Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.