September 22, 2019

Christ in You

We live in a world awash with evil, sin and suffering. We, along with people of all the ages, ask why. Why would a loving all powerful God permit such pain and blatant immorality to exist?

Each and every one of us spends every day of our life in busy activity. We work, we labor, we study, we struggle to earn a living; and in doing so, can we honestly look back on our lives and say to ourselves that, “I am fulfilling my destiny”? Is that the total purpose of my existence, to labor amidst evil, sin and suffering and then to die?

In the Gospel of Luke (10:41-42), the Evangelist says that Mary sat at the feet of Jesus just listening to Him speak. And when her sister, Martha, complained and asked for her help, Jesus said, “Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. However, there is need of only one thing.”

We profess Jesus to be our Lord, our Savior and our King. But in our daily activities, do we surrender our will to Christ? Do we live our lives in conscious fellowship with Him? God created humankind that we may know, love and serve Him. Whatever else we may accomplish in life, we must not fail in that one task.

In his Letter to the Colossians (1:27-28), St. Paul, said, “God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you. It is He whom we proclaim — that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.”

I think it should be obvious that the evil, sin and suffering of our world cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If we allow these things to rule, dominate and control our lives here on earth, we may be denying ourselves the glory of our eternal destiny. Rather, we need to strive to become more like Christ. To acquire His nature! To live as He lived! To love as He loved! And the only way we can do this is to imitate the wisdom of Mary in today’s Gospel; to literally “Sit at His feet” and listen to Him. And we do this by living in conscious fellowship with Him. To know that, as Paul said, “Christ is in you.” It is in our conscious effort to become more like Christ that we can be presented as “Perfect in Christ.”

A French nun wrote an excellent summary of this teaching over one hundred years ago when she said, “At the close of every day, the soul recollects herself at the feet of the Beloved and reviews every hour of the day in His sight. She thanks Him for all His grace as well as for the suffering, the struggles, for everything, in fact, since all has been either willed or permitted by Him.” (Lucia Christine, an Adoration Reparatrice sister, from the Magnificat, July 17, 2016)

Every one of us was created with the unique ability to learn through the experiences of life. History attests to the accomplishments of us experience-tested mortals. Rather than viewing the “imperfections” of our world as stumbling blocks or as obstacles that appear to reflect the deficiencies of a God who is said to be all powerful, we need to recognize these evils, sins and sufferings as glorious opportunities offering infinite possibilities for growth and development.

Yes there are imperfections in the world in which we live, but our responsibility is to live in fellowship with our Lord and Savior Jesus. It is in having faith in the fact that he abides within, that we experience comfort in knowing that nothing escapes His knowledge. Like Martha’s sister, Mary, we need to seek the comfort of resting at His feet.

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Written by
Deacon Donald Cox

REVEREND MR. DONALD COX is a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit. On June 9, 1979, Deacon Don was ordained to the diaconate by His Eminence John Cardinal Dearden, an important American Father of the Second Vatican Council. He is currently assigned to St. Cornelius parish in Dryden, Michigan. Married and the father of three children and grandfather to four children, Deacon Don was born and raised in Detroit, and educated at St. Brigid Elementary School, Mackenzie High School, and Lawrence Technological University. His theological training was taken at Detroit's Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

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Written by Deacon Donald Cox
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