Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
1 Corinthians 6:15
“Christ used the flesh and blood of Mary for his life on earth, the Word of love was uttered in her heartbeat. Christ used his own body to utter his love on earth; his perfectly real body, with bone and sinew and blood and tears; Christ uses our bodies to express his love on earth, our humanity.
A Christian life is a sacramental life, it is not a life lived only in the mind, only by the soul; through the bodies of men and women Christ toils and endures and rejoices and loves and dies; in them he is increased, set free, imprisoned, restrained.
I know I may have begun the Lenten Season with a low-grade sense of dis-courage-ment but, by God’s grace, I have entered the Easter Season with a felt joy in the experience of Jesus alive, and a new courage as he says to me, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).
St. Ignatius invites those who have made decisions to follow Christ to experience the grace of Christ’s resurrection. We have considered the consequences of being faithful to being his companions. We have heard him telling the early companions that the world will hate them as it hates him.
We have been invited to be in the world but not of it.
He has prayed that we not be taken from the world but be a blessing within and about the world.
And He has given us His mother as the most beautiful reminder of how to courageously achieve this.
And a very Happy New Year to all my fellow Catholics! Yes, Catholics have three chances, not one, to celebrate New Year’s. On the First Sunday of Advent, you will customarily hear parishioners wishing one another a “Happy New Year!” Non-catholics are generally surprised or confused to hear this, until they discover we follow a liturgical year as well as a calendrical one, and the first Sunday of Advent is the start of another annual cycle!
The second New Year’s Day for Catholics is, of course, January 1. When we can join the rest of the world, have a drink, look back with thanks, and look forward with hope and hopefully set off a few fireworks! On this day we will also celebrate again the birth of the Lord, andthe dawn of our redemption by honoring Mary the Mother of God.