Immersed in Christ: April 21, 2020
Tuesday, Second Week of Easter
The Responsorial (Psalm 93) — “The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty” — means Jesus is as different from earthly kings as God is different from his creatures. The Psalm continues: “He has established the world.... From everlasting you are.... Holiness belongs to your house....” And we are called to be as different from ordinary human beings as God is. How is that for a shocker?
Acts 4: 32-37 shows us what it means to “bear witness to the resurrection of the Lord.” It means to make it evident that Jesus is risen and living in us. We do that by living in a way that is both unintelligible and impossible without grace. And by “grace” we mean “the favor of sharing in the divine life of God.” If we are not obviously divine, we are not the kind of humans God made and called us to be by Baptism.
The early “community of believers” was “of one heart and mind.” That is the first sign of divine life. Jesus prayed at the Last Supper: “that they may all be one.” Not just as a human community. He prayed that we might be one as the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity are one: “As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us.” What does this say about us? 1
On the visible, human level it should be evident that no human concerns have enough importance to divide us. Are we who are united by sharing in the divine life of God going to let ourselves be disunited by something that is of value only on the level of human life?
Jesus already laid down this principle in the “Sermon on the Mount”:
If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.
The general principle here is that for those who are the body of Christ on earth and children of God the Father, nothing on this earth should take precedence over good relationship with another human being. Not our wounded pride when we are insulted or feel rejection like a slap in the face. Not attachment to our possessions or the arrogance of someone cheating us out of them. Not the pressure people put on us by imposing on our time or making our work longer or harder. Our response to all that is to risk more rejection by sticking our neck out again; to give others more than they are trying to cheat us out of; to spend more time on people than they are already costing us.2
Is that human? No, that is to be divine. In the “community of believers... no one claimed anything as a personal possession, but they had everything in common…. There was no needy person among them.” That is Christian witness.
In John 3: 7-15 Jesus asked Nicodemus, “You do not understand this?” Is he asking us that? Three words: “You are divine.” Do you understand them? If not, why not? If you would, decide how you could. “The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.” Jesus will help you.
Initiative: Come to grips with being divine. What does it mean to be it? To live it?