Reflections

Our Citizenship is in Heaven

As someone who avoids shopping at Fareway simply because of the Saturday crowd for the meat case and the narrow aisles, I must comment on the throng of pilgrims attending the celebration of the Mass on the Solemnity of Christ the King. It was ginormous, enthusiastic, and unavoidable. My agoraphobic tendencies were put out of mind. I was reminded of the crowd who followed Jesus, hoping to touch his garments. In contrast to the usual experience of “Go in peace…” quickly dissolving into “Where shall we have lunch?” the pilgrims leaving the square lingered and reached out to share their joy at being one in Christ. 
I will continue to wonder at my own brief experience of this phenomena, as two priests came up to me to say, “Hello, Where are you from?” I smiled at them and told them Omaha, Nebraska, and they beamed back at me, saying “We’re neighbors! We are from Poland.” They listened intently as I briefly shared about St. Cecilia Cathedral, the story of our pilgrimage, and some of the blessings we had experienced. Not a hugger by any stretch of the imagination, I didn’t even blink when they asked permission to take a picture with me and linked arms firmly around my shoulders to do so. We only exchanged first names before I was called away to count off and begin our walk to the bus.
Fr. Marik and Fr. Rudik (I am less certain of the second name), wherever you are, God bless you.
Philippians 3. 17-21
 17  Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us. 18 For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.
 
1 Peter 1.18-25

Beloved:
Realize that you were ransomed from your futile conduct,
handed on by your ancestors,
not with perishable things like silver or gold
but with the precious Blood of Christ
as of a spotless unblemished Lamb.
He was known before the foundation of the world
but revealed in the final time for you,
who through him believe in God
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are in God.

Since you have purified yourselves
by obedience to the truth for sincere brotherly love,
love one another intensely from a pure heart.
You have been born anew,
not from perishable but from imperishable seed,
through the living and abiding word of God, for:

“All flesh is like grass,
and all its glory like the flower of the field;
the grass withers,
and the flower wilts;
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.

So often, I’ve read the words, “All flesh is like grass”–destined to wither and fade, without focusing on the hope that rests in the certainty of the Lord’s enduring nature that is the center of this psalm. Moreover, I’ve totally overlooked the opening of this psalm, perhaps because it is so hard to accept that I am Beloved. There is the truth, however, I am both prone to perish and beloved of Christ. Because of His great love, my helpless condition moved him to ransom himself for me, so that in Him I may also be raised to new life, but life with a purpose that does not fade, to find my faith and hope in God, to obey His truth, and to love with a pure heart. My prayer today is to let that word be proclaimed in me.
 
 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s