God created humans for one reason only: to share his own divine life and happiness with them forever. But he puts us first in a staging area where we will have time to integrate the human life we receive at birth and the divine life we receive at Baptism. Doing this, helping others to do it, and creating an environment that makes it easier for everyone to do it, is what human life is all about. The beginning of the New Year is a good time to remember this. A good New Year’s Resolution would be to decide on ways to keep ourselves aware of it.
The basic principle is: We make all that is human in us divine by making all that is divine in us human. This began with the Incarnation and birth of Jesus, which we celebrate, fittingly, on January 1, Feast of Mary, Mother of God. Jesus made a seed of Mary’s human flesh divine by making the divine in himself human in her. And when we give our human bodies in Baptism to become the divine body of Jesus on earth, his divinity begins to work with, in and through our human acts of thinking, choosing, speaking and acting, gradually conforming all we are to all he is.
This is what the staging area is for. We use our time on earth to grow into Christ, or let Christ “grow to full stature” in us, by putting to human use all the divine gifts we receive with grace (the life of God in us). The gift of faith lies dormant in us until we put it to work in human reflection, and express it in human thoughts and words: for example, calling God “Our Father” with awareness of what we are saying and pondering what it means.
As we absorb the mysteries of faith, they give us hope, which we express in action by striving for the “perfection of love.” As we translate these divine gifts into human action, all that is human in us operates more and more as divine, by the power of Jesus in us.
This world is a staging area in which humans help other humans to arrive, survive and thrive. We are constantly shifting, and helping others to shift: first from the “arrival dock,” where we become aware of who we are and what our divine-human identity is, to the “instruction area,” where we commit ourselves to learn what the five stages of progress are and how to advance through them (discipleship). When we are mature enough to work, we advance ourselves by helping others advance: first by dedication (as prophets) to making known the Good News of the Kingdom that is our destination; then by surrendering more deeply (as priests) to the reign of Christ in us, letting him express himself through our bodies to enhance the divine life of others; finally, by totally abandoning ourselves to live, work and long for nothing else (as stewards of his kingship) except to bring all in the staging area to the “point of embarkation” for the city that is our true home, that God has prepared for us.
Try keeping this explanation in mind as you read the Scriptures for this week.
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