The mother of the seven Maccabee boys had a view of life it would be good to wake up with. She told her son, “It was not I who gave you breath and life, nor was it I who arranged the elements you are made of.... It is the Creator of the universe who shaped the beginning of humankind and brought about the origin of everything.”
The starting point of human consciousness should be: “I am basically nothing. Nothing explains my existence except the fact God is choosing to give me being right now. My existence is simply an ongoing act of God.”
This should be encouraging. If God is choosing right now to keep me in existence, he must see it as a good idea. My life on this earth must have some value for him. He is “voting” for me.
So are other people: all those who love me. The truth is, God has arranged things so that no one comes to be on this earth unless, in addition to himself, at least two human beings vote for it: a father and a mother. We are born with a support group, even a fan club!
The same is true of the divine life of grace. God adds that only by the unanimous vote of the Father, Son and Spirit. And, although a single human can give it to us by baptizing us, Baptism is, in fact, an entrance into and reception by the whole Church. And, consciously or not, by every redeemed human being on earth.
Why do they vote for us? Why does God?
God wants us to exist so that we can enjoy what he enjoys. With him and forever. We know that because Jesus told us. But he has another reason: Just as he doesn’t give life to anyone without the cooperation of other humans, he has arranged it so that the life he gives depends on other humans’ work to survive and develop. The same is true (normally, if not absolutely) of the life of grace. We are all our “brother’s keeper,” responsible for the well-being, both human and divine, natural and supernatural, of every other man and woman on earth. We all have a job to do, and God is giving us both existence and divine life so we can do it.
We are stewards. Everything God is giving us, from our existence to the latest good thought he has inspired, is an investment. We are charged to use, to work with, to manage all that we have and are for the good of others. Those are the terms of our existence. When Jesus comes at the end of time, he will ask us how we have given to others what he has given to us.
We mustn’t allow anything or anybody to stop us from doing that.
And nobody can. Love may be the only commodity there is that we can have as much of as we want, just by using it. And we can give it constantly: at every moment, in every situation, and to every person, whether it is received or not. Nothing can stop us from loving except our own choice not to.
To love is to give life. And we have it in a bottomless cup.
Keep this in mind as you read the Immersed in Christ reflections on the readings this week.
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