September 19, 2021
Finding Christ in the Ordinary
One of my most comforting images of God is that of the All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Loving Father, who is in heaven Out There somewhere, protecting me and providentially guiding my life towards relationship with Him. Unfortunately, as we reflect on that image of God, we must admit that it is at best incomplete; at worst, self-deceit.
God is not content to love us from afar, to be the Great Teddy Bear in the sky. He loves us so much that Jesus, the Son of God and Word Incarnate “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness”. Not only did God become man, but he gives Himself to us in the Eucharist, that we might actually physically consume Him. The Almighty God becomes literal food; anyone who has received the Eucharist has actual physical cells in their body composed of God’s body and blood, soul and divinity.
I think this is an incredible fact to reflect upon, and we must feel its repercussions continuously in our lives. God is with us in every moment, making each tick of the clock infinite. His presence gives each encounter we have, every relationship we are in, eternal significance. Everything we do and everywhere we go, He is there, not to track our successes and failures or to glare down at us like a disapproving schoolmarm, but to live with us, to celebrate with us in our joys and lament with us in our sorrows.
The consequences of this are clear: as we live what we might call our ordinary lives, God is right there with us. Always! And this raises a very simple question: what exactly is ordinary about anything or anyone? How can we see each moment of our day, or each person we encounter, through the lens not of our politics or our self-interest, but through the divine lens that our faith gives us access to?
The agnostic psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson, in a discussion of Christianity, asked this question:
I don’t know what would happen to you if you believed [in Christianity].
I think that might be a good question to reflect on this week. What has happened to us because of our belief in Christ? What exactly does our faith mean to us, and how do we respond to Christ’s constant presence, as we live our most extraordinary lives?
– Bill Merlock