April 12 - The Meaning of the Season
Apr 12, 2019
Scripture: The grave sin of false accusation and the punishment of the innocent have been the running theme for the last few weeks. As we approach Holy Week this weekend, we see that the emphasis has been changed to one of vindication in the Lord. Despite the collaborative lies of two witnesses, Susanna was vindicated by the truth. Despite being thrown in a fiery furnace, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were vindicated by the God who came to save them. Daniel was saved from the lion's den. How is it, when we read through Jeremiah's prophecy today that it so clearly correlates with the life of Christ? It is because he does not do prophecy from the comfort of an arm chair, well protected by castle walls, and armed Guards. Jeremiah's prophecy is accurate precisely because his life mirrors that of Christ' life as Christ approached his death and the prophet approached his. Both desperately tried to share the message of hope and life with the people, and the people who did not wish to hear the truth, looked for ways to kill him. The people in Jesus' ministry would complain that he spoke too often in parables when they wanted simple straight forward talk. In this reading, leading up to Christ's passion, he speaks plainly the message that they don't have ears to hear. Jesus not only directly calls himself the Son of God, but in that same explanation admits that the prophets and patriarchs were called gods in scripture. So what then shall we call those who carry with them the Holy Spirit? What are they if not god-bearers and tabernacles? Jesus IS God, because he is begotten. Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jeremiah are not begotten sons of God, but they are sons through the unity and participation of the divine life and promise that flowed through them. Their sins set them apart, but their openness to grace joined them to the Father.
Core Faith Principle: St. Athanasius said, "God became man so that we might become God." Like the person who has matched his own numbers to the powerball drawing this concept of prize too great to understand is upon us. We have found the pearl of great price, we have found the treasure in the field. It is like finding a gold site during the California Gold Rush, you have to come up with the money to purchase the claim, and then you have to work to dig out the treasure.So it is with our adopted childhood. We have to lay claim to it through Baptism and Confirmation and then we have to do the hard work of a lifetime of continual conversion to remove from ourselves that which does not conform to our unity with God and open ourselves to the veins of Grace that our actions might be filled with perfect love. God has blessed us with purgatory so that those who have invested their claim and have not finished refinement may continue the process of unification with God that was begun on earth.
Living this at Home: It is not a wise idea to put a bumper sticker on the back of the car, next to "Proud parent of a cub scout" a sticker that reads, "My son is an adopted son of God." Though we may call our children princes and princesses, it is not wise to invest them with false authority, pamper them in luxuries, and to remove all suffering from them (The princess and the pea). What you will create is a child who expects service and hates suffering. We should teach them service, sacrifice, and self-giving love. We should teach them to cherish, with gratitude, whatever blessings they have. At the heart of every human desire is the desire to "be like God." It is at the heart because it is our purpose. However, we must remember what God revealed himself to be, A servant who sacrificed everything for us in self-sacrificing love. This is the God we are to conform ourselves and our children to. We should not be fooled as Adam and Eve were fooled into perceiving that to be like God I must be greater in power. We will find salvation for ourselves and our children when we see, know, and emulate the spirit of the almighty God who empties Himself and takes the form of a slave to know, love, and save mankind.