The Word of Life
If I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I do not understand, I cannot grasp the full meaning of eternal life. I know through baptismal adoption my destiny is to return to our Creator God. Yet, St. Paul, today, exhorts us not to shift "from the hope of the Gospel that you heard." Maybe I have to understand "shift" more clearly, so I can more deliberately be involved in my destiny wrapped up in God’s Will for me to fulfill God’s Plan and return to the Creator.
Faith, trust, hope, letting go of control, selfless service, forgiveness and true Sabbath peace are all based upon the promise of eternal life of the Gospel. And I can never forget that all of this was acquired through the choice of a 33 year old man, Son of God, to give up his life in a horrible death. These sacred, but "this-side-of-eternity" realities are contained in the "fulcrum" of the balance between reliance on the law, the external locus of control (peer pressure), prohibition of eating from someone’s corn field on the Sabbath, and the internal locus of God’s gift of freedom, bestowed by the Lord of the Sabbath. And this freedom necessarily embraces the human condition of suffering, calling us constantly beyond ourselves in the service of others. Is this not what we are all about? We are going to constantly feel the tension of the "shift" from self centeredness to being for others.
William Jennings Bryan said it succinctly, "Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."
Fully embrace this day the freedom-for-service God has given you to transform this world, one person at a time.
Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P. is president of Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School, Birmingham, Alabama.