32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
“He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Jesus’ final words delivered to questioners whose intent was to demonstrate the absurdity of the idea of a resurrection, provide us with a profound spiritual truth.
Where is God to be found? Wherever there is life. We sense this in the depth of our beings – hence the almost universal joy when witnessing the birth of a baby. The tree that gets all the attention in the Garden of Eden story (Gn 2-3) is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There’s another tree in that Garden that is named as well, however – the Tree of Eternal Life. No prohibition was given to the man and the woman concerning that tree. It seems only logical to assume, therefore, that human beings were always intended to live eternally. How could it be any other way if we were literally “loved into life” by God?
Beyond the general designation of life, of course, we need to think for a moment about the quality of life. Some folks may be biologically alive, but they’re dead inside. Full of dead ideas or trapped in an old feud or former ways of seeing themselves which no longer apply. Even worse, perhaps a person has given his/herself over so completely to the superficial kind of success the world proclaims that this unfortunate soul has allowed his or her relationships to die, or the sense of wonder, or the ability to discern miracles. Faith, Hope and Love are sturdy things, but also organic. If they are not fed by the Spirit on a regular basis, they can die.
How alive are we to the Spirit which blows through our world and our Church and our hearts? What dead things have we accumulated which need to be destroyed or renewed by that holy Wind and Fire?
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)
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